North West Wales Amphibian and Reptile Group (NWWARG)
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About us

About Us

The North West Wales Amphibian and Reptile Group (NWWARG) aims to increase awareness and drive conservation efforts focussing on herpetofauna across north west Wales. To do so, NWWARG works closely with other conservation organisations and the public to organise events such as:


  • Lectures and classroom training sessions
  • Field surveys and outdoor training sessions
  • Habitat management days
  • Data recording training


Our events are open to all of our members and we are always looking to work with other groups. Get in touch with us via our contact page if you would like to get involved or have any queries about reptiles and amphibians in north west Wales. 







British Science Week with NWWARG

Posted on Tuesday 19th March, 2019

To celebrate British Science Week (8th-17th March) we teamed up with the North Wales Wildlife Trust to visit primary schools across Anglesey and promote local wildlife. 

We gave a quick presentation on the local species of amphibians and reptiles and in which areas of the Wildlife Trust reserves you might find them. Many of the school children already knew the difference between a grass snake and an adder! 


 We focused on 'wildlife gardening' and simple things children could do to engorge wildlife into their gardens. Kids got involved in making homemade bird feeders using pine cones, lard and birdseed along with helping build bird boxes provided by the Wildlife Trust. NWWARG helped install a 'mini pond' using a horse feed bucket dug into the ground and adding native pond plant life, many children were excited to try this at home using their parents washing up bowls! 


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We also wanted to roll out some ideas we learned from the ARG UK project 'Adders are Amazing'. We talked about how it's important to let adders bask without disturbance and to never try provoke a nearby adder. With our inspiration from the recent HerpWorkers meeting we also brought along clay so that children could make their own celtic adder necklaces, which children thoroughly enjoyed and we saw some fantastic sculptures. 
We also brought along the ARG UK colouring sheets which went down a storm, we had some fantastic colours of frogs and adders! 


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Our two school visits were very successful, all of the children were eager to learn about amphibians and reptiles and wanted to share their own sightings with us. We had a great time talking about how amazing our local wildlife is and look forward to more public engagement events! 


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Getting Muddy for Great Crested Newts!

Posted on Tuesday 22nd January, 2019

On November 24th NWWARG teamed up with ARC Trust to clean up some important Great Crested Newt ponds. Our volunteers were enthusiastic and were all rearing to go at 8am, although we did have a few catch up on sleep during the drive! 


After a brief talk from ARC Officer Mandy Cartwright we split into groups and worked on clearing dead vegetation from several ponds, taking turns with rakes and grapples it soon turned into muddy work. Soon our newest volunteers were ready to take over social media with #Getmuddyfornewts, perhaps it'll be the new ice bucket challenge? 



Overall NWWARG helped clear up six ponds, work which will pay off during breeding season! Our next workday will be taking place on January 26th where we'll be doing some scrub clearance, get in touch if you're interested. 



Christmas Market Fundraiser

Posted on Wednesday 31st October, 2018
 This year we'll be running a stall at the Bangor University Christmas Market on 5th December to raise funds for our group :)
If anyone is interested in donating any bakes/cookies/cakes ect please get in touch!
We're also planning to sell some reptile and amphibian themed embroidery hoop decorations so any extra hands for sewing are welcome.
It'd be great if we could also sell a calendar featuring some local reptiles and amphibians! If anyone has any photos of North Wales reptiles and amphibians that you would like to donate for us to use please feel free to email us at 
Funds will go directly into providing transport for training days and help us run ID and licensing sessions!

Reptile Training Day- Warm weather and Slow-Worms

Posted on Tuesday 22nd May, 2018

On the 12th May NWWARG hosted a Reptile Training day at Gwaith Powdwr. Previously an ammunition factory this area now supports various reptile species, with an especially large population of Slow-Worms. Despite the early start our group was rewarded with bright sunny weather, the day began with a detailed talk on the various reptile species of the UK and the threats they face. 

After our ID talk (and a cup of tea) we headed out and began to survey. Unfortunately we didn't come across a Grass Snake, however we found plenty of Slow-Worms (along with shed skin) and even managed to catch a speedy Common Lizard. After lunch our members practiced putting their ID skills to the test and surveyed themselves, with the data collected being added to Cofnod. 

Overall it was a productive day with our members getting up close and being able to interact with our native species.

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Banner Competition - March 2018

Posted on Friday 20th April, 2018

Congratulations to Molly Mannion for winning March's banner competition with this lovely photo of a Common Frog (Rana temporaria). Stay tuned to find out who wins in April! The winner will be announced on the 24th of April.

There's still time to enter! Just head over to our Facebook page and give us 3 of your best portrait native amphibian and reptile photos. The winning photo will be used as the banner photo for NWWARG's social media accounts and website for the month!


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Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

General Meeting

Thu 1st January, 1970

Join us to discuss our current progress and plans for the future as well as catch up with fellow members.

This will be taking place at 7pm at Clwb Hirael, Ambrose Street (1DF) 



Native Herps and Conservation – Mandy Cartwright

Mon 20th October, 2014

19:30 in A12 Brambell Building, Bangor.

Alien and Invasive Species – Giles Norcup

Mon 3rd November, 2014

19:30 in A12 Brambell Building, Bangor.

Habitat management day

Mon 2nd March, 2015

First trip to do some habitat management is organised! This is your chance to get involved with some hands-on conservation for our native species. 
The site is the Rixton Clay Pits, a SAC and SSSI for the Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus), near Warrington. (…/sacselection/sac.asp…)

If you are interested in joining us, please email us ASAP to ensure a place. Emails can be found on the 'Contact Us' page on this site.

Amphibian Survey Training event

Thu 19th March, 2015

We will be having our annual Amphibian Survey Training event this year on Thursday 19th March in Room G1, Memorial Building, Bangor University. Refreshments will be available from 7, and the workshop will start at 7.30pm.

This event will include a workshop on field survey techniques by Catharine Wüster, followed by a field trip to Pensychnant Nature Reserve to practise these survey techniques in the surrounding ponds. 

Remember to bring a torch (and spare batteries!) and suitable clothing for the field trip. We will have disinfectant on site but please bring relatively clean footwear (e.g. remove clumps of mud) to decrease biosecurity risks when we are at the ponds.

Facebook Event:

2016 Annual General Meeting

Mon 8th February, 2016

The North West Wales Amphibian and Reptile group's 2016 AGM will take place at 19:30, Monday 8th February in Bangor University's Brambell building in the ground floor lecture theatre, room A12. As stated in our constitution we must elect the following committee positions for this year:

Lead Recorder
Representatives from any sub-groups present (e.g., a student representative)

This year we will also be offering the additional position of publicity officer who will manage social media and advertising, such as the website, facebook and twitter groups.

Interested candidates can put their names forward by contacting us through email ( We request each interested candidate to produce a short powerpoint presentation or talk to include a brief introduction to themselves, the position(s) they are going for, their interests and what they think they could bring to the committee and group.

The AGM will consist of a short presentation detailing the herpetofauna of our region, our objectives, and some proposed activities for the year, followed by the election of the new committee. You will also have the chance to re-register under ARG-UK's free volunteer working insurance which is necessary to undertake fieldwork with us during the year and suggest any activities you'd like to see happen.

Hope to see you all there!

Reptile Training Day

Sat 7th May, 2016

NWWARG will be hosting an all day event demonstrating and teaching essential techniques and skills for locating and surveying local reptiles. The event will begin at 8:00am at the Brambell building (Bangor), anyone who wishes to use there own transport can meet us at the site (Gwaith pwdwr) or is willing to give others transport. Depending on time and conditions the trip may progress to Harlech sand dunes. Contact any member of the committee for further details. Many thanks and we hope to see you on the day.

Toad Patrol

Thu 2nd February, 2017



Toad Patrol

                                                                                           Courtesy of: Axel Barlow




The first of this year's toad patrols!  Now the toads are on the move, NWWARG will be running toad patrols fortnightly at Treborth Gardens.

Everyone is welcome to join in!


If you're interested in attending, please let one of the committee know, or tell us you're coming on the Facebook event: 





Meeting at:


Bangor University

Brambell Building Car Park

(The large red brick concrete building opposite the Asda carpark.)








What to Bring?

Please wear suitable clothes and waterproof footwear. Please bring a torch if you have one, if not NWWARG have a couple to hand out.





NWWARG will provide transport,  but if you have a car and don't mind helping out by giving members a lift, please let one of the committee know!





During their breeding migration, toads often dice with death whilst crossing roads!


Find out more here:




Toad Patrol

Thu 2nd March, 2017


Toad Patrol

                                                                                             Courtesy of: Axel Barlow



The first Toad Patrol of the year! Since Toads are now on the move, NWWARG will be running fortnightly patrols.


Everyone's welcome to join in!


If you're interested in attending, please let one of the committee know, or let us know you're going on the Facebook event: 





Meeting at:

Bangor University

Brambell Building Car Park

(The large red brick concrete building opposite the Asda carpark.)





Meet at 19:30.



What to Bring?


Please wear suitable clothes and waterproof footwear. Please bring a torch if you have one, if not NWWARG have a couple to hand out.





NWWARG will provide transport, but if you have a car and are happy to help by giving lifts, please let one of the committee know!





During their breeding migrations, common toads dice with death on the roads!


Find out more here: 



Rixton Claypits Habitat Management

Sun 12th March, 2017



NWWARG is participating in joint habitat management work alongside Bangor University Herpetological Society (BUHS) and ARGSL. This will be a great opportunity for anybody who's interested to get involved with the conservation of the UK's amphibians. 


Transport will be provided for volunteers travelling from Bangor.



What are we Doing?


Habitat management for Great Crested Newts and other amphibians by clearing vegetation to increase pond connectivity. 



Leaving at 8am from Bar Uno Car Park, Bangor.


Starting the Work at Rixton at 10am.

Expected to finish at 4-5 pm. 

What to bring?

Packed lunch, plenty of water, good shoes (wellies are best as it's fairly muddy) and waterproofs.

It would also be good if people can bring work/gardening gloves with them,  but if not there are some available (although they tend to be a bit tattered). 



Rixton Claypits Nature Reserve
Moat Lane


If you're interested in attending please contact one of the NWWARG committee or email us at

Alternatively, you can let us know on the Facebook event page: 


If you want to attend, please let us know by the 2nd of March.


Useful Resources

Useful Resources


ARG UK Amphibian ID Guide




ARG UK Reptile ID Guide




ARG UK - Precautions for Amphibian Disease Advice Note




ARG UK - B.sal Disease Alert




ARG UK - Amphybiocystidium Pathogen Factsheet




ARG UK - Information on submitting shed skins to Genbank




ARG UK - Priorities for adder conservation from the Vanishing Vipers conference



Contact us

Contact Us






Environment Centre Wales
Deiniol Rd
LL57 2UW

*Please note, this is not open to the public/walk ins

Or Contact/Neu Cysylltwch â :


John Benjamin (Ben) Owens (Chair)


Mobile: 07538218171

Twitter: @BerusandBen


Rebecca Bracegirdle (Secretary)


Mobile: 07415798301


Antonio Gandini/Andrea Pozzi (Lead Recorder) 

Email: /












Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.

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