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 2020 - 2021 the committee elected at the AGM on 29th February 2020 are:

Chair - Kelvin Lawrence, Vice Chair - Christian Murray-Leslie, Secretary - Chris Monk, Treasurer - Jayne Thompson
Committee members - Richard Fenn Griffin, James Longley, Emily Major, Sheila Stubbs, Trevor Taylor

Kelvin Lawrence is also the Derbyshire Toad Crossings Co-ordinator for the Group & for Froglife and Richard Fenn Griffen covers membership and data protection

See a previous newsletters here

pdfFebruary_2020_DARG_Events_newsletter.pdf

pdfDARG_April_2019_newsletter.pdf

pdfDARG_January_2019_newsletter.pdf

pdf2018_02_February_newsletter.pdf

Derbyshire ARG data policy

pdfDARG_data_protection_policy_November_2018.pdf

 

News

News

Pond Net GCN eDNA results

Posted on Saturday 10th December, 2016

The Freshwater Habitats Trust have sent out the results from the analysis for great crested newt eDNA of their Pond Net samples earlier this year. Members of Derbyshire ARG had a field trip to a pond near Pilsbury in the Peak National Park which was the square allocated to us in the PondNet survey. A previous visit by FHT in 2015 was apparently negative for GCN eDNA but our sample from May 2016 has come back as positive for the presence of great crested newts.

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Two other ponds near Hartington where we went on to take further eDNA samples for analysis by ADAS (and paid for by Derbyshire ARG) had already come back as positive for great crested newts. The farmer who owns one of the ponds would like us to survey all his 4 ponds in 2017 so it is planned to organise surveys there and at another farm near Pikehall next spring.


Pond Task

Posted on Saturday 12th November, 2016

A working party of Derbyshire ARG members undertook conservation work at the end of October 2016 to clear vegetation on a dewpond on the edge of a hay meadow near Hartington in the Peak District. Previous recording which started in 1988 and was more regular in the past decade had shown that the pond supported great crested and smooth newts, common frog and common toad. However after years of virtually no change, in the past two years nearly all the dewpond was swamped by Glyceria that formed a thick floating mat leaving just a small open water area in the middle.

The Glyceria mat was so interconnected that it had to be cut up into segments so that it could be pulled out using pond rakes. About two thirds of the pond was cleared leaving sufficient vegetation on one side where there was a greater variety of emergent aqautic plants. Hopefully the small clump of Potamogeton natans that was still surviving in the open water area when we arrived will spread back into the cleared areas.


Moorland Management

Posted on Tuesday 9th August, 2016

The type of moorland management in the Dark Peak is of concern to herpetologists as intensive management with regular burning is extremely detrimental to reptiles. There has been considerable concern by naturalists over the persecution of birds of prey which has prevented most species breeding in the National Park. Over a century of keepering has resulted in the destruction of "vermin" on the grouse moors and as a result of this and the burning there are no known adder populations on the keepered moors. If highly protected birds like hen harriers and peregrines are illegally killed by some people then they would have no qualms in dispatching any adders they come across.

Due to incidents the National Trust has announced that the grouse shooting lease of two of its large tenanted estates on the Dark Peak will be terminated in a year's time as they do not consider the tenant can produce the outcomes desired in the NTs Moorland Vision.

A campaign has been set up to welcome the decision by the National Trust and to call on the Trust not to lease the land to another shooting tenant. Instead, the NT should take the opportunity to work with other partners to establish a wilder landscape, free of intensive grouse-management, where wildlife can recover and thrive and not be subject to illegal persecution. Derbyshire ARG is one of the 12 local environmental groups who have formed a coalition to sponsor the campaign and petition.

Find out "moor" at http://nomoorshooting.blogspot.co.uk

or sign the petition online at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/nomoorshooting


GCN eDNA results

Posted on Monday 11th July, 2016

The first results are back from the eDNA water samples taken by the group on the GCN training course day and on the field trip in May.

The water sample from the pond at Hilton Gravel Pits SSSI nature reserve came back negative for great crested newts, so they appear to be avoiding this pond which probably has more fish than the one we saw at the time of sampling.

The village mere pond sampled on the field trip and the restored field dewpond both near Hartington came back as positive for great crested newts.

The results from the pond sampled as part of Freshwater Habitats Trust PondNet project will be know later in the year.


Reptile survey updates

Posted on Monday 11th July, 2016
Further cover objects (roofing felt squares) were put out in June on our two survey sites near Cromford and Hassop to give coveage on additional areas. The numbering was also renewed as some had weathered off. Organised visits are planned for later this summer.

Events

Events

Show Past Events

Toad Crossings - Cancelled from 23rd March

Sun 1st March, 2020 - Sun 12th April, 2020

See updated information on our news page

We will be running around 16 toad crossing patrols across Derbyshire during this approximate timespan (depending on the weather).

New volunteers are always welcome please contact us on derbyshirearg.toads@gmail.com and we can put you in touch with the nearest patrol to your location.


Derbyshire Countryside Event (TBC)

Sat 23rd May, 2020 - Sun 24th May, 2020

This is unlikely to go ahead this year due to the measures around the coronavirus outbreak

At Arkwrights Cromford Mills over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, we will be having a stand and talking to people about our native amphibians and reptiles.

Further details to follow later.


Pleasley Pit Country Park Wildlife Day

Sun 7th June, 2020 - Sun 7th June, 2020

If this goes ahead depending on coronavirus outbreak


Derbyshire Countryside Woodland Festival 2020

Sat 19th September, 2020 - Sun 20th September, 2020

If this goes ahead depending on coronavirus outbreak

At Elvaston Castle Country Park


Pond dipping

Sat 3rd July, 2021 - Sat 3rd July, 2021

Postponed from 2020 due to coronavirus

Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve, Wingerworth family event organised by the Chesterfield branch of the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Derbyshire ARG will be leading the pond dipping at one of the ponds on the nature reserve which supports a range of amphibians including great crested newts and also grass snakes.

We will also be having our display and information gazebo at the event.


Contact us

Contact Us

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Or contact the secretary at:
DerbyshireARG
Hilburn, Chapel Lane,
Middleton,
Matlock,
Derbyshire
DE4 4NF

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

Upcoming Events


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