As a group CARG offer the following opportunities
We are available and qualified to give
Training days carried out by expert ecologists
To become a member send an email request to
Bank transfer details will be forwarded to you.
You will receive a welcome email and login details to ARGWEB - in which the appropriate membership forms and voluntary forms will be required to be filled in for your membership.
Become a patrol manager of a registered road or a patroller to help to assist in helping our native common toad to their breeding ponds
Contribute to the collection of data - building a picture of reptile and amphibian distribution within our county
Practical ground management improving the quality of amphibian and reptile habitats
ARGWEB Management Software
Managing membership/ managing survey direction and reporting/sharing data info to land managers, owners, stakeholders
Hello Everyone !
It has been a while since the news has been updated - my apologises!
As a group we have been very busy starting in January and February with toad patrols up and down the county. Extremely important this year as COVID restrictions were lifted more vehicles were on the roads !
Toad patrol Coordinator Matt Carr has compiled the following document with data for the last 3 years
An ongoing activity for the group - With articles on newts in Eden FM magazine Eden Local Jan 22 and records and information forwarded on for entry in to the up coming publication of Birds and Wildlife in Cumbria.
Our Annual General Meeting (on line) was well attended in March. Topics of discussion included activities members would like with training in species identification, ecology and survey techniques being requested the most. Members do have the online tutorials at their disposal for more information please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We were honoured to be voted as a Nature Hero. Run by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust celebrating their 60 years of work. We were nominate for our voluntary work and contribution to Cumbrian wildlife and habitats - Read More Here
The Cumbrian Biodiversity Data Centre Recorders Conference was well attended and CARG presented an update of surveys and records for the county. A copy of the presentation slides can be located following this link. CARG CBDC Conference
The beginning of June we joined with the Cumberland Bat Group and took part in Open Farm Sunday at Susan's Farm Houghton and the AONB Festival of Nature at Talkin Tarn - Both fantastic events in which children enjoyed craft activities and asking a lot of interesting questions ! A big thank you to our volunteers Lesley, Jude and David for all of their hard work !
CARG played a small part in the new Tullie House Exhibition "Once Upon a Planet " with adder ecology advice and CARG chair Suzie speaking about how others can help against Climate change. The exhibition is now open to view Once Upon a Planet
Surveys and Training
We have a continuation of surveys in our prime adder locations, Cliburn moss common lizard count, Finding Sanctuary surveys in Ambleside, Kirkbampton and Cartmell.
On line training modules are available for members and practical sessions to complement this are also run at regular intervals.
One of our members very kindly offered her amazing ponds for an amphibian practical session. CARG member Libby ran the session and all attendees are now equipped with the knowledge and experience to carry out a basic pond torch survey. (non licensed)..
A group of CARG volunteers carried out pond work (removal of reeds) a community pond near Great Salkeld Penrith, hibernaculum's were also created for the range of amphibians living there to access.
Our pond at St Pauls Church Holme Eden is coming on a treat with froglets now making their terrestrial journey in life !
A big big thank you to all that entered our annual calendar competition, judges from ARG UK and Ashleigh for all her hard work pulling it together. We raised an amazing £164.17 for our funds which has gone towards the purchase of amphibian survey equipment for our volunteers.
We will be running this again so keep taking your (non disturbance) images !!!
Events upcoming include walks and talks at Foulshaw and a partial walk of the Ullswater Way (dates to be confirmed)
A joint social event with the Cumberland Bat Group. Camping, pond dipping and a bat walk and refreshments will be available for committee and members to get together (provisional date first weekend in September).
To record your sightings follow the To Record a Sighting tab on our Website !
Our final update before 2022 !
The last few months have been a hive of activity for the group with end of season surveys, habitat maintenance and creation, our annual calendar competition and this year we added Christmas cards to our online shop with equal success.
As a group we have been very fortunate in working with some local groups:
Susan's Farm Houghton
A working Care Farm two miles from Carlisle providing opportunities for learning and practical work experience. A registered charity whose
VISION is that people’s lives are transformed by working together in purposeful outdoor activity so they can reach their full potential. Click for more information Susan's Farm
Members visited and carried out habitat suitability index on several waterbodies across two areas which are in trust of Susan's Farm. During the visit Common frog and toad at different life stages were recorded. Members carried out some pond clearance at a later date and created hibernaculum's for amphibians.
St. Pauls Church
Eden Wild Goose Nature Wildlife Pond
at St Paul's Holme Eden
December 2021 In partnership with The Cumbrian Amphibian and Reptile Group and The COOP Local Community Fund.
Eden Wild Goose Nature invited the Cumbria Amphibian and Reptile Group CARG to set up and run a survey in the grounds of St Paul’s Holme Eden church near Carlisle (CA4 8RF). Members of the local community were taught how to identify frogs, toads, newts and snakes. Following this, a six-week survey was managed by two members of the Eden Wild Goose initiative with the result that a frog and a toad were discovered in the private woodlands. In response EWG Nature decided to dig a small wildlife pond near where the amphibians were seen to work with nature and support biodiversity. The new pond was designed by CARG ready for the work to begin.
In early December 2021 a small team of four from CARG, two from Eden Wild Goose Nature and the local Member Pioneer from the COOP teamed up to complete phase 1 of the project. An area of 3mx3m was cleared to prepare for a pond liner to be set in the ground.
The funding for the project came from COOP Local Community Fund.
Thanks to all… from the amphibians and all the other water loving pondlife.
For the above projects funding was gratefully received from the ARG UK 100% fund, this was to purchase equipment (refugia, PPE, ground tools)
EPAS Environmental Protection and Appreciation Society (University of Cumbria Ambleside)
CARG visited students at the Ambleside campus, where we gave a presentation on local native amphibians and reptiles, an insight in to what we do as a group and how volunteering can benefit the conservation students studies. A fun informative talk with games !
Calendar and cards
Our annual calendar competition was well received with many entries ! A big thank you ARG UK trustees for judging the winning images (not an easy task!)
This year we also had Christmas cards for sale raising funds for ARG UK. A one off illustration in pen and watercolour from Suzies Artwork
A further update will be announced on funds raised in due course
there is still time to purchase via this link which takes you to our online shop CARG Online Shop
Ashleigh Toomey's (CARG Education Outreach) Dissertation presentation
Well done to Ashleigh on the presenting of her dissertation work on Natterjack toads !
Coming up in 2022
A brief outline of what we have planned for the start of 2022
Online courses - Identification, ecology, survey techniques for amphibians and reptiles, ARGWEB
Online conferences - Herpetofauna Workers Meeting - Winter Symposium. Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre Conference
Toad patrol information and patrols starting
Practical training for members undertaking online courses
Surveys start !
Numerous surveys in the following areas
More information for members on the surveys available nearer the time
Annual General Meeting CARG AGM date and venue to be confirmed
So a lot of varied projects to get involved with and if you would like to become a member or if you would like more information about the group
Please email email@example.com
All the best to our members and followers for the New Year
ARG UK Trustee
A busy and productive summer with events, surveys and records of amphibian and reptile sightings.
In June members visited Foulshaw moss. We explored different amphibian and reptile habitats and we got to see the different basking behaviours of Slow worms and Common lizards
We also were invited to take part in Open Farm Sunday held at Susan's Farm Houghton Carlisle where we chatted to visitors about amphibians and reptiles, handed out information leaflets about what we do as a group and we also had games for people to partake in
CARG also began supporting the Friends of the Lake District project "Dark Skies Cumbria" Click on link below to find out more about light impact on our amphibians
We held a members day at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis - looking at their new reptile enclosures and their excellent conservation breeding programme for endangered frogs
We have also been involved in the release of captive bred Sand lizards (captive bred in the county)
We also had our yearly report published in Birds and Wildlife in Cumbria 2020
This is available at Cumbria Bird Group to purchase
At the start of September we have started working with the community group Eden Wild Goose at St Pauls Church Holme Eden setting up surveys within their burial grounds and also mapping water bodies at Susan's Farm Houghton
So a busy a summer and thank you to all involved !
We have lots to look forward too!
Well on the way is our Finding Sanctuary Project
Members having been very busy setting up reptile surveys at their local burial grounds and small green spaces - with some fantastic results !
Records have included amphibians and reptiles- in particular Slow worms being present which fantastic news.
This last month has seen us incorporate spotlight surveys to the county. These pinpoint areas in which we have no records present currently. Members can access this through ARGWEB under the spot light button and check out the areas included (we will have a new one each month so covering different areas of the county). Non members can still see the location via our Facebook page and records can be uploaded as a casual record via the website records page and will be included. Currently the area spotlighted is just North east of Carlisle - this area includes Scaleby moss, which has a past history of Adders, Common lizards and amphibians.
So if you live close to the area check it out - we want your sightings!!!!!!
The first week of June has been volunteer week celebrating our dedicated volunteers - committee members and signed up members all giving their time to learning, carrying out surveys and outreach of how fabulous our native amphibians and reptiles are :) We could not do the work we do without them.
We have lots planned including formal and informal walks and talks, survey and training sessions - so keep an eye on this websites events, the Facebook page and emails for more information to come.
If you would like to be more involved why not become a member - only £5 for the year and with this you will have access to events running across the summer.
Herp surveys are well on their way !!!!!
Silverdale site: 22 different patrollers (between 2 and 7 out at a time) gave up a total of 32.25 hours of their time over 30 nights to help 329 frogs, 871 toads and 358 newts for a total of 1558 amphibians helped.
Stainton lane site: 3 different patrollers (between 1 and 2 out at a time) gave up a total of 35 hours of their time over 28 nights to help 16 frogs, 446 toads and 1 newt for a total of 463 amphibians helped.
if you've been out patrolling i'd love to hear your stats too
I've also managed to get out and visit 3 other sites this year including one that will hopefully be registered next year. and i've been told about a few more that will need checking out next year.
please remember to send your stats to Froglife and upload them to ARGweb (all sites have a section in the toad patrol area).
finally another reminder to fill out the freshwater habitats spawn survey if you see any spawn
so all that's left is for me to say a massive thank you to all of you for your hard work and dedication to helping our amphibian friends.
A fantastic online conference bringing together numerous recording groups from across the county. We were involve in the conference giving updates on 2020 recording figures and events that had taken place and introduced a list of projects for the forth coming season.
A talk presented by Suzie Collinson on two current monitoring programmes - both looking at identifying individuals within Slow worm and Adder populations. A shorter version of the talk is available here NATS talk
A brilliant range of seminars available from ARG UK click here for link to you tube channel including
We have been able to help local reserves with Adder awareness on their sites with the handing out of informative posters
Our Finding Sanctuary Project is up and running !!!!!
Volunteers exploring and surveying burial grounds and small green spaces local to them (fully supported)
For more information please head to the website tab Projects/Education
We now have a dedicated FB page for those members wishing to help with surveys
In connection with The Cumberland Bat Group we are holding a Summer Social for members on the 3rd of September.
Families and partners are welcome to join. If you would like more information or to even join us for part of the session please email us at
Arrival from midday Saturday – set up your tent if camping!
Food (hot dogs, baked potatoes) 17:00
Cliburn moss 18:00
Pond dipping / Common lizard search 18:30 – 19:30
Bat walk 19:30 – 21:00
Return to site
Proposed itineraries include:
Two options available
1) Meet at Aira Force (9.00am) and walking to Glenridding (refreshments) and back - keeping our eyes open for slow worms basking. along a popular sighting area of the Ullswater way. (miles 6 )
2) Meet at Glenridding, steamer at 10.00am (£8.00) to Aira force and walk back to Glenridding along the Ullswater way. (miles 3)
Dependant on numbers we could pre park and car share to the area to save carpark costs.
Any questions or preferences email firstname.lastname@example.org
Toad patrols are for supporting amphibians and reptiles on their migration to their breeding ponds by helping them cross busy roads (by stopping them getting squashed!)
The patrols are supported by Froglife Toads on the roads but each site is managed individually and sites need to be registered with Froglife and all volunteers taking part need to be registered for insurance purposes
Contact details for our South Cumbria patrols: Email address for Toad Coordinator Matt
An introduction to amphibian and reptiles biosecurity Biosecurity_web_page.pdf
A disease guide for fieldworkers Amphibian_Disease_Precautions_A_Guide_for_UK.pdf
A disease alert to protect wild amphibian and reptile species by reducing disease risk in captive amphibian and reptilesReducing_disease_risks.pdf
In many urban locations small green sites exist, this can include churchyards and burial grounds (allotments, golf courses, parks, commons and school grounds). These areas can represent some of the few remaining peaceful havens for wildlife and people in an increasingly busy world. Even in the countryside, much of our biodiversity has been lost to intensive agriculture and infrastructure development.
These locations may then also provide a welcome respite for many of our native creatures including birds, wildflowers, fungi and lichens, mammals and invertebrates. These areas are often overlooked and can be an important home for our native amphibians and reptiles, which are often residing in the damp corners that so often characterise old churchyards for example.
We often have reports of common frogs and toads, newts, slow-worms, common lizards, grass snakes, and in some exceptionally special places even our most vulnerable native snake, the adder.
However, many reports are anecdotal, and whilst many churchyards and subsequent green areas have a ‘wild area’, this is often simply left and little is done to map the wildlife using it, or to target habitat improvement for specific species.
This project aims to focus on our forgotten creatures, those that inhabit the forgotten areas.
Activities will be coordinated through our county-based network of volunteer amphibian and reptile groups (ARGs).
Cumbria ARG will work with its local diocese, and other faiths, and local communities to identify burial grounds and green spaces that may be of greatest importance to wildlife, based on their location, existing habitat or habitat connectivity, and the passion and interest of the local community
Up to date COVID 19 Risk Assessment ARG_UK_Generic_Risk_Assessment_June_202128572.doc
An introduction to amphibians and reptiles on allotments Allotments_leaflet.pdf
Some ID guides from ARC Trust and ARG UK:
To record the species you see Record_Sheet.pdf
A quick introduction to amphibian and reptiles for primary school children Primary_School_Amphibians_and_Reptiles_poster.pdf
Adders are Amazing Activities
Practical activity 5_Food_chains_and_webs.pdf
Arts and crafts activity 7_Wind_snakes_activity.pdf
Practical activity 8_Adder_hunt_quiz_activity.pdf
Arts and crafts activity 9_Adder_stone_trails_activity.pdf
Arts and crafts activity 13_Adder_nightlights.pdf
Arts and crafts activity 15_Adder_amulets.pdf
Arts and crafts activity 17_Adder_bookmarks.pdf
Baking activity 18_Snake_snacks.pdf
English and literature activity 19_Adder_poetry_activity.pdf
Power point looking at differences between snakes and lizards (emphasis on Slow worms) Reptile_school_talk_slow_worms.pptx
Frog and toads
Basic images showing frog metamorphosis Frog_cycle.pdf
A frog mask template to decorate Frog_mask_template.pdf
Detailed Information on Common frogs, Common toads and NatterjacksNative_frog_and_toad_posters.pdf
Mix and match game - matching the correct definitions to the correct speciesMix_and_Match_Game.pdf
A quick guide to spawn identification ARG_UK_Spawn_ID_.pdf
Toad patrol involvement for children and vulnerable people Toad_Patrols_for_Children_and_Vulnerable_people.JPG
Amphibian and Reptile Quiz
Identify the correct species by just their eyeball. A tricky but fun quiz! Eye_ID_quiz.pdf
Mix and match game - match the correct habitat to the correct species Habitat_Mix_and_Match_.pdf
Note down the correct habitat or habitats for the species. Similar to the mix and match game but with pictures!Habitat_Quiz.pdf
Arts and crafts activity Snake_rock_poster_activity_.pdf
How to record your sightings How to record your sightings
Membership Membership tutorial