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 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
Derbyshire ARG data policy
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Undertaking water sampling at the randomly selected pond in Derbyshire for the Freshwater Habitats Trust's long running great crested newt eDNA PondNet project.
Contact us if you would like to come along on the morning of Saturday 12th (weather permitting) and help at the field pond near North Wingfield
The Chesterfield branch of the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust have postponed this event to a future date This is due to concerns about coronavirus causing many groups to pull out of the event at
Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve, Wingerworth
When it is re-arranged 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.