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

Pond Conservation working party

Posted on Sunday 3rd March, 2019

Thanks to the volunteers who helped with the clearance of the farm dewpond just outside the Peak National Park boundary in mid February. Due to the depth of the pond and the thickness of the mat of Typha covering virtually the entire pond only a belt around half the margin of the pond was cleared using hand tools lent by the Derby City Pond Wardens Association. This has created a belt of open water around about half of the pond for the 2019 amphibian season. (See the photo gallery page) 

It is proposed to go back this spring to survey for amphibians using the pond which when last surveyed held common toad, great crested and smooth newts. In addition we are investigating how to clean out the remainder of the pond to fully restore it. It is over 35 years since the dewpond was last fully cleared out by an excavator after which the great crested newt population quickly expanded to take advantage of the open water then available on the pond.


Pond conservation working party snowed off

Posted on Wednesday 23rd January, 2019

Our work party planned for Saturday 19th January had to be called off when the Peak District was hit by snow the previous evening. The pond was already frozen from the frosts the previous few nights but the farmer said you couldn't see the ice for the couple of inches of snow on top! We hope to re-schedule it for mid February.


Midlands Land Managers Adder Networking Day

Posted on Sunday 7th October, 2018

This was organised by ARG UK and the National Trust and held in early October 2018 in Shropshire. There was a large attendance of Land Mangers and volunteers from across the Midlands and from the Humberhead Peatlands NNR in Yorkshire. A staff member and volunteer from each of the National Trust and the Eastern Moors Partnership in Derbyshire attended and heard presentations from Herefordshire and Derbyshire ARGs following which the National Trust led a field visit to an adder site to demonstrate the managements works that were being done to conserve adders.


Adder survey site destroyed by fire

Posted on Tuesday 29th May, 2018

A large moorland fire on Monday 21st May following a period of warm dry weather has burnt 43 hectares of the Peak District Eastern Moors SSSI before eventually being extinguished. Unfortunately one of our regular adder survey sites has been destroyed along with eggs of ground nesting birds and the habitat there could easily take 10 years to recover to a condition where it would be suitable for lizards and adders. The Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "It is believed to be suspicious ignition, possibly deliberate, but that is something for the police and Eastern Moors staff to establish."

This was the second moorland fire in May after another fire, again thought to have been deliberately started, destroyed an area in the Goyt Valley SSSI including many bird nests.

Both sites are in the South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the Peak District Moors (South Pennine Moors phase 1) Special Protection Area (SPA).

 


Winter returns with a vengeance

Posted on Sunday 18th March, 2018

After the significant snowfall and cold weather in late February and early March that held back the start of the 2018 amphibian season, put a break on the reptile emergence surveys and postponed our spring meeting, it has all come to a halt again on Sat 17th with cold weather and snowfall blanketing the county especially the upland areas in the Peak District. Toads had just started moving last week especially in southern Derbyshire, frogs were spawning across the county and some reptiles were basking and now it has all come to a halt. Hopefully it will be full speed ahead for frogs and toads later this coming week with mild & wet weather forecast, though it doesn't look good for the reptiles. However we have just purchased a further supply of toad migration road signs to add to our stock and they will be put up this week as soon as the snow has cleared.


Events

Events

Show Past Events

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


Reptile Surveys

Fri 12th April, 2024 - Sat 5th October, 2024

We will be running a series of reptile surveys across the year at several sites.

We have refugia (cover object) surveys out at Hassop near Bakewell, Linacre Reservoirs near Chesterfield and Hardwick Hall near Doe Lea. Hassop has been running for 10 years and is monitoring slow-worms and common lizard. We were asked to help set up refugia surveys at Linacre by Severn Trent Water's Ranger where we have monitored grass snakes and checked on common lizard by visual surveys at a separate location on the site. At  Hardwick we have assisted the National Trust Rangers in setting up a refugia survey this year to help assess the grass snake population.

In addition we are carrying out visual transect surveys at the Peak District National Park Authority's North Lees Estate to determine the status of Common Lizard across this large estate. There is a mixture of habitats there including the gritstone edges and dry stone walls, dwarf shrub heath, large areas of bracken domination, acid grassland fields, woodland plantations and some wetland and flushes.


Peak District newt surveys

Sat 20th April, 2024 - Tue 28th 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 free environmental 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 and will look at the ponds amd amphibians to be found at the nature reserve.The reserve is known to be a good site for amphibians and also attracts grass snakes

Book to attend at environment@groundworknottingham.org.uk or by text to 07801 122494

.Amphibian walk in National Forest


Pleasley Pit Country Park Wildlife Day

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

Event organised by the Pleasley Pit Nature Study Group, held by the old engine house at the entrance to Pleasley Pit Country Park and Local Nature Reserve

We will be having a stand at the event which runs from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

The Country Park was created on the site of the former Pleasley Colliery and is one of the best examples of landscape restoration with nature conservation. There is a mixture of habitats with some areas being underlaid by slightly acidic mining spoil  whilst other areas have the underlying Magnesian Limestone especially noticeable on the disused railway cuttings. The site is well known for grass snakes and also for toads, frogs and smooth newts in and around the several ponds on site.


Staunton Harold Bioblitz

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

We will be attending a bioblitz organised by National Trust Rangers at Severn Trent Water's  Staunton Harold Reservoir on Thursday 30th and Friday 31st  May. The event will run between 10.00am and 2.00pm each day. We will be organising a stand with information about our native amphibians and reptiles, there will also be wildlife walks  and talks on both days.

The entrance to the Reservoir is signposted off the B587 road just south of Melbourne, follow the signs on Calke Road to the car park

 


Contact us

Contact Us

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DerbysARG
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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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