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 derbyshirearg@gmail.com 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 2024 - 2025 the committee elected at the AGM on 13th January 2024 are:

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

Kelvin Lawrence is also the Derbyshire Toad Crossings Co-ordinator for the Group & for Froglife

See a previous newsletters here

 pdfJanuary_2021_DARG_newsletter_31.pdf

pdfAugust_2020_DerbyshireARG_newsletter.pdf

pdfFebruary_2020_DARG_Events_newsletter.pdf

pdfDARG_April_2019_newsletter.pdf

pdfDARG_January_2019_newsletter.pdf

 

Derbyshire ARG data policy

pdfDARG_data_protection_policy_November_2018.pdf

 

News

News

All events this summer cancelled

Posted on Saturday 16th May, 2020

With the news that the Derbyshire Woodland Festival in late September will not now go ahead all our public engagement events across Derbyshire this summer have been cancelled due to the restrictions around the coronavirus pandemic. At the present time all other group activities such as surveys are suspended until such time as restrictions are amended and group gatherings of people in the open are allowed.


Updated Derbyshire ARG Coronavirus statement (COVID-19)

Posted on Tuesday 24th March, 2020

Derbyshire ARG

Toads on Roads: Change to Coronavirus Guidance

Further to our recent communication regarding toad patrolling during the Coronavirus emergency, there has been a change in government advice to restrict all but essential movement. The Group no longer feels we can continue with toad patrols whilst this restriction is in place, so we are instructing that this activity should cease with immediate effect.

Thanks to all for your support, and we hope to be back rescuing toads again next spring.

For more information please see https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Take care and stay safe,

Kelvin Lawrence

Chair and Toad Crossings Coordinator, Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group

& Derbyshire Area Coordinator for Froglife

23rd March 2020


Derbyshire ARG Coronavirus (Covid-19) Statement

Posted on Wednesday 18th March, 2020

Derbyshire ARG -Coronavirus Memorandum

As a group we have always, and will always, put the health, safety and welfare of people involved or affected by our activities first, ahead of any other considerations.

We are at present in the busy toad migration season, and most of our toad patrols are currently active or standing by. It is the group's considered opinion that it is possible for volunteers to comply with current government advice regarding social distancing whilst on toad patrol, and so we are continuing to rescue toads and other amphibians from road traffic, although no-one should feel obligated to do so. Please do not attend a patrol if you are in isolation or are feeling unwell or if you fall in the high-risk groups (over 70 years old or have pre-existing health problems).

Individuals should regularly review government advice (see link below) and assess their own vulnerability before they choose to go out on toad patrol. Please keep up to date as government advice is likely to change before the toad patrols have finished. Please also continue to follow all our guidelines, policies and procedures, and contact your coordinator if you have any questions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-forvulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-olderpeople-and-vulnerable-adults

The Group will take a view on participation in future events and activities in due course. It is likely that some public events that the Group have planned to attend will be cancelled. We may be able to run some surveys this spring and summer.

Take care and stay safe,

Kelvin Lawrence

Chair and Toad Crossings Coordinator, Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group

& Derbyshire Area Coordinator for Froglife

17th March 2020


Pond task at Brassington

Posted on Saturday 22nd February, 2020

Together with the village environment group we ran a working party to help remove a garden escape from the Middle Lane pond in Brassington. The pond, which has 3 rare water plants as well as water shrew, frog and smooth newt, was being taken over by vigorous growth of a variegated form of Glyceria maxima. After a previous working party by the village group, we joined them to try and remove as much of the plant and its roots as possible. Although there will be regrowth especially along the walled edge where it was almost impossible to remove the roots, it will have greatly reduced the density of this plant in the coming year. A few early frogs were found in the pond but spawning still hasn't happened yet in the Peak District.

P1010792 Working Party 22.02.20P1010793 View after work 22.02.20


Pond Restoration Project

Posted on Thursday 16th January, 2020

Work has started today with a contractor to clear out the Typha dominated dewpond at Hoe Grange Farm. The pond that supports great crested & smooth newts, common toad and common frog was last cleaned out in the 1980s but for the last decade has been choked with Typha and is badly silted. Derbyshire ARG has had a couple of back-breaking working parties in the decade and managed to clear small areas around the edge to keep some open water but the dense growth in the centre remained and rapidly covers the cleared areas. With support from ARG UK 100% fund we have employed an experienced dewpond maintenance and restoration contractor who has restored many dewponds in the nearby Peak District National Park to clear the whole pond. In addition we are facilitating the clearance of another large depond that has completely silted up on a neighbouring farm and hopefully the restoration of another nearby dewpond that has been dry for over 40 years.

Dewpond before restoration2 Desilting underway P1010722


Events

Events

Show Past Events

Toad crossings 2024

Thu 15th February, 2024 - Fri 12th April, 2024

Toads on roads patrols in Derbyshire started earlier than normal in mid-February in lowland parts of Derbyshire, especially those sites in the southern half of the county. However there was no more than a night or two in toad movement at upland sites in the Peak District before temperatures dropped to normal for the second half of February, which also caused a fall in movement in southern Derbyshire.

With only normal temperatures forecast for March it is expected that eventually our toad patrols will continue into late March or early April.

If you want to volunteer to help with this years toad crossings please email our toad coordinator on Derbyshire toads coordinator


National Forest pond surveys

Thu 14th March, 2024 - Sun 5th May, 2024

We will be running pond surveys across the National Forest area in southern Derbyshire. Details to be confirmed


Peak District newt surveys

Fri 5th April, 2024 - Sun 19th May, 2024

As in previous years we will be running a programme of torchlight surveys of dewponds across the White Peak area of the Peak District National Park These include checking on ponds that have been restored by the PeaK District National Park Authority through earlier grant funded programmes or their current Farming in Protected Landscape Scheme. The aim is to assess the success of  restoring ponds for the newts particularly the great crested newt to colonise restored ponds and to monitor continued amphibian presence in suite of ponds that are surveyed every year.

A few ponds may be bottle trapped and we are waiting to hear from the Freshwater Habitats Trust whether they will be running a tenth year of their PondNet Great Crested Newt eDNA Project. There are two sites in Derbyshire we take the water samples for them, one near Hartington in the Peak District National Park and one near North Wingfield in NE Derbyshire.

The programme of surveys is still to be confirmed but if interested in taking part please contact us at derbyshirearg@gmail.com


National Forest pond walk

Sat 27th April, 2024 - Sat 27th April, 2024

Part of a programme of walks organised by Groundwork Five Counties for the National Forest Company

This year Derbyshire ARG will be leading the pond walk at New Lount Nature Reserve in the Leicestershire part of the National Forest. The walk will last around 2 hours

Further details and booking for this free event will be publicised by Groundwork nearer the date.


Pleasley Pit Country Park Wildlife Day

Sun 19th May, 2024 - Sun 19th May, 2024

Our attendance to be confirmed nearer the time.

Event organised by the Pleasley Pit Nature Study Group, held by the old engine house.


Staunton Harold Bioblitz

Thu 30th May, 2024 - Fri 31st May, 2024

To be confirmed

There is a bioblitz planned by National Trust Rangers at Staunton Harold Reservoir for Thursday 30th and Friday 31st  between 10.00am and 2.00pm both days.

Derbyshire ARG has been asked to take part, further details nearer the time.


Contact us

Contact Us

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DerbysARG
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Derbyshire
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For Toad Crossings and to contact our Derbyshire Toad Crossings Co-ordinator please email derbyshirearg.toads@gmail.com

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