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

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.

eDNA surveys

Posted on Saturday 11th June, 2016

Derbyshire ARG organised a field survey trip at the end of May to carry out water sampling for sending away to test for the presence of great crested newt environmental DNA in water bodies.

The first site in the morning was to carry out the GCN eDNA sampling and pond habitat survey for Freshwater Habitats Trust's PondNet project. The large field pond near Pilsbury in the Peak District was the water body selected by FHT and members completed the survey and took the water samples. The result of the eDNA sampling will be known later in the year.

The group then moved on to sample two other ponds a few miles away to take additional eDNA samples for analysis by ADAS. A village mere restored in the 1980's by the Peak District National Parlk Authority was sampled first and the eDNA result was positive for the presence of great crested newts.

A circular field dewpond near Hartington that was restored in 2012 by the Peak District National Parlk Authority from its previous silted and leaking condition was then visited. The eDNA water sample was positive for the presence of great crested newts, confirming that it was worthwhile to have restored this pond which had no previous amphibian records. Whilst taking the samples frog and toad tadpoles and a female smooth newt were seen meaning that this pond supports 4 amphibian species.

A third eDNA sample taken earlier at one of the ponds on Hilton Gravel Pits SSSI nature reserve for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust returned a negative result for great crested newt presence, which was not surprising as it has a connection to a fishing lake and a fish was seen during the sampling.


2016 Toad crossings

Posted on Monday 2nd May, 2016

After yet another late season, not really starting until the end of March the road patrols have now finished for this year. Seems to have been a definite gradient across the county with patrols in the south of the county mostly having higher numbers this year, those in the central part being down on each of the last two years and those in the northwest having a very poor year.

At 6 of the sites male toads were measured for the ARGUK Toadsize project.


Reptile surveys 2016

Posted on Sunday 20th March, 2016

Dates have been fixed for member's spring visits to sites where we have reptile surveys running this year. 

At present one survey is running at Hassop in the Peak District National Park in co-operation with the National Park Ranger Service and another is at a Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve near Cromford.

A smaller survey may be added this spring at another site close to Cromford and further dates announced for later in the year.


Toad Crossing preparations

Posted on Sunday 20th March, 2016
The cool dry weather has delayed the start of the toad migration season this spring but patrol members have finished installing the temporary toad warning highway signs at locations across the county. All we are waiting for now is some mild and damp weather to encourage the toads to start returning to their breeding ponds.

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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