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:
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 email@example.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 2021 - 2022 the committee elected at the AGM on 10th November 2021 are:
Chair - Kelvin Lawrence, Vice Chair - Christian Murray-Leslie, Secretary - Chris Monk, Treasurer - Jayne Thompson
Committee members - Garry Dorrell, Richard Fenn Griffin, James Longley, Sheila Stubbs, Trevor Taylor and Ben Wyke
Kelvin Lawrence is also the Derbyshire Toad Crossings Co-ordinator for the Group & for Froglife and Richard Fenn Griffen moderates our Facebook page
See a previous newsletters here
Derbyshire ARG data policy
This meeting was held on-line on 10th November 2021, the last AGM having been held in February 2020 just before the first Covid lockdown.
Topics included a summary of the reptile and the amphibian surveys carried out in 2021 and the proposals for the surveys to be organised in 2022 (see attached meeting report).
There was a discussion reviewing the 2021 Toad Crossing Season, which had been a mixed result across the county with some sites having very low numbers and others matching the numbers seen in previous years.
The Chair gave a presentation on the monitoring scheme that has been set up on the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's Willington Wetlands nature reserve, a former gravel extraction site. The multi-species monitoring is being carried out to assess how the site changes over the years and the impact of beavers on the flora and fauna. Evidence of presence on site of great crested and smooth newts, common frog and common toad was found on the visits and the Wildlife Trust have just released the beavers into the reserve recently just before our meeting.
At the AGM three members joined the committee and the existing officers were re-elected.
Today we have launced our new Facebook site to replace the previous with new administrators so hopefully it will remain up to date with what we are doing.www.facebook.com/Derbyshire-Amphibian-and-Reptile-Group-DARG-101964412268342
Planning for next spring's reptile survey of the North Lees & Stanage estate for the Stanage Forum is proceeding with the first of two walkovers to decide routes for transects and possible cover object surveys completed today. In addition we have some records from a DARG member who went for a family walk in August and spotted more lizards in that than the total number of recorded sightings in the last twenty years as put on RecordPool, iRecord & NBN Atlas. There is the possibility that there may be a very small adder population still present based on the very occasional sightings by members of the public over the last 15 years. We hope to get permission to put cover objects out to see if we can find any slow-worms on the area.
Four juvenile and three adult lizards were spotted today by the team of 6 DARG surveyors after the sun came out and the wind had eased. An initial assessment of possible routes off the main paths where drawn up by the Chair & Secretary. Although a busy area with many walkers, rock climbers and mountain bike riders off the path here may ring ouzels & other ground nesting birds of conservation concern so final routes will need to be agreed with the Peak Park ecologists. It is planned to use ARGWEB for the recording of the surveys. We just hope now that there will be sufficient snow and wind over winter to flatten significant areas of the waist high bracken fronds from this year so that visibility for the surveys next spring is improved, before the bracken regrows in late spring.
Having managed earlier in the year to carry out our regular toad crossing patrols and to do several torchlight surveys for newts in restored or existing dewponds in the Peak District National Park, we are planning to do some reptile work in the late summer/autumn.
We have refreshed our cover objects on our reptile survey site near Hassop in the Peak District so a couple of survey visits are planned for there in August and September depending on weather conditions.
The Group has been asked to carry out a reptile survey next year, mainly for common lizard, by the Stanage Forum to help inform their revision of the the management plans for the Stanage and North Lees areas on the borders with Sheffield in the Peak District National Park. Despite it's popularity with walkers and rock climbers there have been very few reptile records from there in the past couple of decades. Hopefully the survey will find common lizard, possibly slow-worm and maybe even a snake or two. Therefore we are organising a couple of walk-overs in the autumn to look at the areas, possibly spot some reptiles and decide on setting out some transects and a few cover object survey sites for next spring.
We have also reserved a place at the Derbyshire County Council's Countryside Service Woodland Festival in September. Held annually (except last year due to Covid-19) it is very popular and is at the usual venue of Elvaston Castle County Park just outside Derby. Deppending on what happens with the Covid-19 pandemic by September we will let you know nearer the date if we are taking our stall and display there this year.
Derbyshire ARG will be deciding at its next committee meeeting at the end of February on what activities can be organised this year depending on Government guidance and regulation relating to the Covid-19 pandemic
2pm until 4pm in Room 19 at the Strutts Centre, Derby Road, Belper
Free meeting open to all
2.00pm Talk on the Willington Beaver Project by Kate Lemon from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
We have been asssisting the Trust in monitoring the Willington site by surveying for amphibians and reptiles to see what changes the beavers are making to the habitat.
3.00pm Reports of our activities in 2023 & plans for 2024
Our attendance to be confirmed nearer the time.
Event organised by the Pleasley Pit Nature Study Group, held by the old engine house.