Birmingham and Black Country Amphibian and Reptile Group (BBCARG)
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About us

About Us

Hi there!

Welcome to the Birmingham and Black Country Amphibian and Reptile Group page, we are a volunteer-led group actively involved in the conservation of native species of amphibian and reptile and their habitats.

We aim to establish and monitor the distribution and status of amphibians and reptiles in the area; conserve reptiles, amphibians and their habitats through surveys and practical work; foster public interest in amphibians and reptiles and their conservation; and develop the skills of those interested in these species.

We are always happy to hear from people in the area about anything to do with reptiles and amphibians, if you are interested in finding out more or getting involved - please get in touch.


Reptile and Amphibian Sightings:

If you have been lucky enough to spot some of our reptiles and amphibians, please report a sighting on our 'Record A Sighting' page.


2024/25 Committee:

Chairperson - Amber Hopgood

Secretary - Katy Perry

Treasurer - Matt Armes

Records Officer - Amber Hopgood and Shaun Pope

Birmingham Project Officer - Matt Armes

Black Country Project Officer - Chris Dunn

Training & Events Officer - Amber Hopgood 

Website & Social Media Officer - Amber Hopgood 

Re-Elected Committee Members - Charlene Jones, Elsbeth Leighton, and Shaun Pope

Newly Elected Committee Members - Beth Bucknall




Posted on Thursday 7th March, 2019

After our 'Evening of Herpetology' event, we held our Annual General Meeting (AGM).

During this we reviewed our year, what progress we had made, the successes we had achieved, and we also discussed what we have planned for the upcoming year. 


We also elected our new committee, which is as follows:

Chair - Amber Hopgood

Secretary - Katy Perry

Treasurer - Hannah Lewis

Records Officer - Charlene Jones

Website and Social Media Officer - Amber Hopgood

Training and Events Officer - Paul Wilkinson

Newsletter Editor - Tasha Cain

Black Country Project Officer - Piotr Koryl

Birmingham Project Officer - Charlene Jones

Records Assistant/Committee member - Shannon McCallion

Evening of Herpetology

Posted on Wednesday 6th March, 2019

Our Valentine's day 'frogs, sex and rock 'n' roll' Evening of Herpetology event was a huge success! In case you missed it... we had a series of three talks by local ARG members on a variety of herpetology topics!

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First of all we had Ben Wood from the Warwickshire Amphibian and Reptile Team (WART) talking about the work the group is currently doing using amphibian drain ladders designed by Trevor Rose.

In and around Warwickshire (and most other urban areas) there is a large problem with amphibians getting trapped in roadside drains and not being able to make their way out again without help. As a result WART has been liaising with local councils, transport agencies and water companies to try and help these animals as best as practically possible and provide drain ladders.

These ladders act as a relatively simple way of ensuring that any amphibians that find themselves in a drain have a chance of escaping, which is particularly important when there is limited volunteer-power and restrictions on how quickly (and widely) people can volunteer their time to check drains. 

The group is now monitoring how effective these drain ladders are, and are looking to expand the area in which they are running this project.

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Second we had Dr Stuart Graham from the Shropshire and Staffordshire Amphibian and Reptile Group (SASARG) talk about Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) and their impacts on UK wildlife.

Stuart has done a lot of work investigating INNS, with there being at least 21 non-native species present in the UK, and explained what species are involved and how they are distributed across the country.

He talked about the fact that there are positives and negatives associated with INNS, and although the detrimental effects and risks of disease, hybridisation and even predation are concerning, the presence of Invasive Non-Native Species not only provides us - as Herpetologists - with extensive research and monitoring opportunities, it may also have a positive effect on the adaptive capabilities of our native species. 

That said, the main thing that Stuart highlighted was that we do not yet know enough about the species present in the UK and the effects they may have on our native flora and fauna - and so much more research and monitoring is needed. 

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We ended the evening with a talk from our very own Records Manager - Amber Hopgood - and her work on native reptile micro-habitat preferences. 

For her undergraduate dissertation Amber set out to try and fill the knowledge gap surrounding microhabitat and whether native species (adders Vipera berus, grass snakes Natrix helvetica, common lizards Zootoca vivipara, and slow worms Anguis fragilis) showed any preference for certain microhabitat features. 

Amber talked about the reptile surveys she conducted throughout the field season and detailed the habitat assessment method she designed for her study. She also presented her findings so far and discussed how the different species occupied different microhabitat types - in regards to the habitat structure and the thermal properties of the area. 

She highlighted that this is an under-researched but important area of species conservation and hopes to inform future habitat management with her findings.

We would like to extend a massive 'thank you!' to our speakers and to everyone that came along and supported the group for this event, hopefully we will see you all again at one of our next events! 




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Membership and Login

Membership and Login


If you would like to get involved with the group and its activities, you will need to become a member. Membership costs just £4 a year, and as a member you will:

  • Get updates on our work via social media and email

  • Receive our newsletter

  • Be invited to our courses, surveys and other events, which you can access for free

  • Have access to our ARGWEB platform

  • Help us conserve and monitor our local reptiles and amphibians

  • Learn about our local reptile and amphibian species

  • Be entitled to reduced registration fees at ARG UK and ARC Trust events


You can become a member by clicking the PayPal 'Subscribe' button below, which will set up an automatically renewing £4/year subscription to the BBCARG. You can cancel this subscription at any time via your PayPal account, or by emailing us. 



If you do not have a PayPal account, you can download our membership form (here: docxBBCARG_Volunteer_Membership_form_2019.docx). Once complete please set up a bank transfer using the details provided and email the form to us at


Past Newsletters:

December 2020 Newsletter

February 2019 Newsletter


Member Login 

Welcome to our ARGWEB members portal! Here you will be able to log in to the BBCARGWEB system and manage your membership preferences.


Wildlife Advice

Wildlife Advice

Toad amplexus

Unsure what species of amphibian or reptile you have seen?


Have a look at these handy guides to help you identify the animal you have seen - you can also get in touch with any queries.

Reptile ID Guide

Amphibian ID Guide


More information on reptiles and amphibians

Frogs, toads and spawn  




Slow worm

Non-native species 

Reptile and amphibian habitats 


Found a sick, injured or dead reptile or amphibian?

Have a look at these handy guides to help you identify what you have seen - you can also get in  touch with any queries. Any and all animals should be reported to Garden Wildlife Health.

Amphibian disease (Chytrid and Ranavirus)

Reptile disease (Snake Fungal Disease)

Amphibian disease precautions


You can also find advice on the following topics:

Gardens and ponds

Snakes in gardens 


Photo gallery

Photo Gallery

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Contact us

Contact Us

For further information on the work of BBCARG contact us by email or find us on one of our social media platforms.

We would like to encourage everyone who has an interest in reptiles and amphibians to join our group as a member.



Centre of the Earth, 42 Norman Street, Birmingham, B18 7EP

We also have a YouTube channel we now post educational videos to, click here to visit.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.

Latest News

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