Derbyshire Amphibian and Reptile Group
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About us

About Us

Welcome to Derbyshire Amphibian and Reptile Group we cover the whole of Derbyshire including part of the Peak District National Park.

Our group aims to promote the study and conservation of the amphibians and reptiles of Derbyshire and their habitats. We achieve this by:

  • raising awareness of the ecology and conservation needs of Derbyshire's amphibians and reptiles
  • undertaking practical conservation projects
  • running approximately 20 Toads on Road patrols at locations across the county every spring during the toad migration season
  • carrying out regular reptile surveys and amphibian surveys
  • organising amphibian and reptile training sessions for members and the public
  • providing advice and information and answering queries for the public
  • developing recording, monitoring and research intitatives
  • providing a forum for those interested in amphibians and reptiles
  • working in partnership with other relevant organisations

We hope our website will help you to find the information you are looking for, but if you still have a query, please contact us and we will do our best to help.

Derbyshire ARG always welcome new members to the group, please email us on to join. There is a membership subscription of £5 per year, though that is reviewed at every AGM..

We are very grateful for any records of amphibians and reptiles in your local area that you can pass to us as it helps in mapping the distribution of species and protecting their known habitats. Either contact us directly or use the Record a sighting tab on this website.

The group is run by a committee which is elected at the AGM each year. For 2021 - 2022 the committee elected at the AGM on 10th November 2021 are:

Chair - Kelvin Lawrence, Vice Chair - Christian Murray-Leslie, Secretary - Chris Monk, Treasurer - Jayne Thompson
Committee members - Garry Dorrell, Richard Fenn Griffin, Zoe Lingard, James Longley, Sheila Stubbs, Trevor Taylor and Ben Wyke

Kelvin Lawrence is also the Derbyshire Toad Crossings Co-ordinator for the Group & for Froglife and Richard Fenn Griffen moderates our Facebook page

See a previous newsletters here







Derbyshire ARG data policy





PondNet GCN eDNA survey

Posted on Friday 22nd April, 2022

Again in 2022 we will be helping Freshwater Habitats Trust with their long running Great Crested Newt eDNA survey that they set up in 2015 with a series of randomly selected locations across England. Since 2016 Derbyshire ARG has been sampling a field pond near Hartington in the Peak District National Park every year and we will be visiting there again this May. This pond has a low population of great crested newts and has returned a mixture of positive and negative tests over the years suggesting that in some years the newts are absent from the pond. Since 2020 we have also taken on doing the other Derbyshire site at North Wingfield south of Chesterfield. This is a fishing pond that was created during the landscaping following open casting and removal of local collieries. Due to the presence of large numbers of fish this pond has always tested negative for great crested newts but we will still be taking samples there in May.

Photo of the 2021 sampling near Hartington


2021 06 09 PondNet Pilsbury E3gegx4X

Derbyshire ARG Members meeting Survey Report and AGM

Posted on Sunday 21st November, 2021

This meeting was held on-line on 10th November 2021, the last AGM having been held in February 2020 just before the first Covid lockdown.

Topics included a summary of the reptile and the amphibian surveys carried out in 2021 and the proposals for the surveys to be organised in 2022 (see attached meeting report).

There was a discussion reviewing the 2021 Toad Crossing Season, which had been a mixed result across the county with some sites having very low numbers and others matching the numbers seen in previous years.

The Chair gave a presentation on the monitoring scheme that has been set up on the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's Willington Wetlands nature reserve, a former gravel extraction site. The multi-species monitoring is being carried out to assess how the site changes over the years and the impact of beavers on the flora and fauna. Evidence of presence on site of great crested and smooth newts, common frog and common toad was found on the visits and the Wildlife Trust have just released the beavers into the reserve recently just before our meeting.

At the AGM three members joined the committee and the existing officers were re-elected.


New Facebook site

Posted on Thursday 7th October, 2021

Today we have launced our new Facebook site to replace the previous with new administrators so hopefully it will remain up to date with what we are

Stanage and North Lees Reptile Survey

Posted on Sunday 26th September, 2021

Planning for next spring's reptile survey of the North Lees & Stanage estate for the Stanage Forum is proceeding with the first of two walkovers to decide routes for transects and possible cover object surveys completed today. In addition we have some records from a DARG member who went for a family walk in August and spotted more lizards in that than the total number of recorded sightings in the last twenty years as put on RecordPool, iRecord & NBN Atlas. There is the possibility that there may be a very small adder population still present based on the very occasional sightings by members of the public over the last 15 years. We hope to get permission to put cover objects out to see if we can find any slow-worms on the area.

Four juvenile and three adult lizards were spotted today by the team of 6 DARG surveyors after the sun came out and the wind had eased. An initial assessment of possible routes off the main paths where drawn up by the Chair & Secretary. Although a busy area with many walkers, rock climbers and mountain bike riders off the path here may ring ouzels & other ground nesting birds of conservation concern so final routes will need to be agreed with the Peak Park ecologists. It is planned to use ARGWEB for the recording of the surveys. We just hope now that there will be sufficient snow and wind over winter to flatten significant areas of the waist high bracken fronds from this year so that visibility for the surveys next spring is improved, before the bracken regrows in late spring.

P20210926 12.49 Lizard on wall

DARG Activities 2021 Update

Posted on Friday 9th July, 2021

Having managed earlier in the year to carry out our regular toad crossing patrols and to do several torchlight surveys for newts in restored or existing dewponds in the Peak District National Park, we are planning to do some reptile work in the late summer/autumn.

We have refreshed our cover objects on our reptile survey site near Hassop in the Peak District so a couple of survey visits are planned for there in August and September depending on weather conditions.

The Group has been asked to carry out a reptile survey next year, mainly for common lizard, by the Stanage Forum to help inform their revision of the the management plans for the Stanage and North Lees areas on the borders with Sheffield in the Peak District National Park. Despite it's popularity with walkers and rock climbers there have been very few reptile records from there in the past couple of decades. Hopefully the survey will find common lizard, possibly slow-worm and maybe even a snake or two. Therefore we are organising a couple of walk-overs in the autumn to look at the areas, possibly spot some reptiles and decide on setting out some transects and a few cover object survey sites for next spring.

We have also reserved a place at the Derbyshire County Council's Countryside Service Woodland Festival in September. Held annually (except last year due to Covid-19) it is very popular and is at the usual venue of Elvaston Castle County Park just outside Derby. Deppending on what happens with the Covid-19 pandemic by September we will let you know nearer the date if we are taking our stall and display there this year.



Show Past Events

Hassop Common reptile survey

Sat 27th August, 2022 - Sat 27th August, 2022

Long term reptile survey on  asite that has slow-worms, common lizard and also occasional toads.

More details to follow

Reptile survey at Linacre Reservoirs

Sat 10th September, 2022 - Sat 10th September, 2022

A second reptile survey visit to Severn Trent Water's Linacre Reservoirs near Chesterfield which has records for grass snake and common lizard. As well as a visual survey on site we will be checking cover objects which were laid out in March this year.

Please email the group on to book a place. Car parking charges apply (£3.00 for over 2 hours)

Survey dependent on weather conditions so may be postponed to a new date if continuous rain is forecast for the day.

Photo showing Severn Trent volunteers putting out the cover objects at one location on the site

2022 03 01 Linacre laying out ACOs

Derbyshire Woodlands Festival at Elvaston Castle Country Park

Sat 17th September, 2022 - Sun 18th September, 2022

Derbyshire ARG will be having a stand at the annual Derbyshire County Council Countryside Service's Woodland Festival.

Free event open each day from 10.00am to Car parking charges apply.


2022 Woodland Festival advert

Contact us

Contact Us

Or contact the secretary at:
Hilburn, Chapel Lane,

For Toad Crossings and to contact our Derbyshire Toad Crossings Co-ordinator please email

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