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

Updated Derbyshire ARG Coronavirus statement (COVID-19)

Posted on Tuesday 24th March, 2020

Derbyshire ARG

Toads on Roads: Change to Coronavirus Guidance

Further to our recent communication regarding toad patrolling during the Coronavirus emergency, there has been a change in government advice to restrict all but essential movement. The Group no longer feels we can continue with toad patrols whilst this restriction is in place, so we are instructing that this activity should cease with immediate effect.

Thanks to all for your support, and we hope to be back rescuing toads again next spring.

For more information please see https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Take care and stay safe,

Kelvin Lawrence

Chair and Toad Crossings Coordinator, Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group

& Derbyshire Area Coordinator for Froglife

23rd March 2020


Derbyshire ARG Coronavirus (Covid-19) Statement

Posted on Wednesday 18th March, 2020

Derbyshire ARG -Coronavirus Memorandum

As a group we have always, and will always, put the health, safety and welfare of people involved or affected by our activities first, ahead of any other considerations.

We are at present in the busy toad migration season, and most of our toad patrols are currently active or standing by. It is the group's considered opinion that it is possible for volunteers to comply with current government advice regarding social distancing whilst on toad patrol, and so we are continuing to rescue toads and other amphibians from road traffic, although no-one should feel obligated to do so. Please do not attend a patrol if you are in isolation or are feeling unwell or if you fall in the high-risk groups (over 70 years old or have pre-existing health problems).

Individuals should regularly review government advice (see link below) and assess their own vulnerability before they choose to go out on toad patrol. Please keep up to date as government advice is likely to change before the toad patrols have finished. Please also continue to follow all our guidelines, policies and procedures, and contact your coordinator if you have any questions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-forvulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-olderpeople-and-vulnerable-adults

The Group will take a view on participation in future events and activities in due course. It is likely that some public events that the Group have planned to attend will be cancelled. We may be able to run some surveys this spring and summer.

Take care and stay safe,

Kelvin Lawrence

Chair and Toad Crossings Coordinator, Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group

& Derbyshire Area Coordinator for Froglife

17th March 2020


Pond task at Brassington

Posted on Saturday 22nd February, 2020

Together with the village environment group we ran a working party to help remove a garden escape from the Middle Lane pond in Brassington. The pond, which has 3 rare water plants as well as water shrew, frog and smooth newt, was being taken over by vigorous growth of a variegated form of Glyceria maxima. After a previous working party by the village group, we joined them to try and remove as much of the plant and its roots as possible. Although there will be regrowth especially along the walled edge where it was almost impossible to remove the roots, it will have greatly reduced the density of this plant in the coming year. A few early frogs were found in the pond but spawning still hasn't happened yet in the Peak District.

P1010792 Working Party 22.02.20P1010793 View after work 22.02.20


Pond Restoration Project

Posted on Thursday 16th January, 2020

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.

Dewpond before restoration2 Desilting underway P1010722


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.


Events

Events

Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

Reptile field survey visit

Sat 30th April, 2016

Field visit to record reptiles at one of our survey sites at Cromford, starting at 9.45am and lasting just under 2 hours.  Contact us at derbyshirearg@gmail.com to find out details of meeting place in nearby car park, as event may be cancelled if there is bad weather. (Last year's April visit co-incided with a thunderstorm!) 


Great Crested Newt ecology and survey training course

Sat 14th May, 2016

A two day course at Hilton in South Derbyshire, starting at 10.30am on Saturday including field survey work in the afternoon and evening finishing at 11.15pm. Morning session on Sunday 15 May finishing around 11am.
Cost £25.00 (or £5.00 for members of Derbyshire ARG before 1st March 2016)
This training course is suitable for those wishing to work towards a Natural England GCN survey class license. It will include netting, egg searching, bottle trapping and torchlight surveys and information and demonstration of GCN eDNA sampling.
Please contact us at derbyshirearg@gmail.com for inquiries or to book a place.


GCN eDNA survey

Sat 28th May, 2016

Field visit as part of the Freshwater Habitats Trust's PondNet project to take eDNA water samples for testing for presence of great crested newts in ponds at Pilsley near Hartington in the Peak District National Park. Contact us on derbyshirearg@gmail.com to book a place and receive details of time and meeting place.


Pleasley Pit Country Park Wildlife Day

Sun 5th June, 2016

We will be having a stand at this all day event organised by the Pleasley Pit Nature Study Group at this important Local Nature Reserve which supports good populations of amphibians and reptiles. 10.00am to 4.00pm


Reptile field survey visit

Sat 11th June, 2016

CANCELLED TODAY DUE TO WEATHER - TO BE RE-ARRANGED

 

Field visit to record reptiles at one of our survey sites near Hassop in the Peak District National Park, meeting  at 9.15am and lasting just under 2 hours.  Contact us at derbyshirearg@gmail.com to find out details of meeting place in nearby car park, as event may be cancelled if there is bad weather.  Note this site has a very steep slope in parts with loose scree and to access most of the location it requires a climb over a stock fence topped with barbed wire. Therefore suitable footware and agility is required to take part.


Pond dipping at The Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve

Sat 2nd July, 2016

The Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve, Mill Lane, Wingerworth

We will be running pond dipping sessions and having a stand at the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s "A Venue for Wildlife" event at this reserve which as an important site for amphibians and reptiles. 10.00am to 4.00pm


Derbyshire Woodland Festival

Sat 24th September, 2016 - Sun 25th September, 2016

Derbyshire ARG will be having our stand at this popular weekend show organised by the County Council's Countryside Service at the wonderful Elvaston Castle Country Park just outside Derby. Come along and visit us, tell us about your sightings of amphibians and reptiles, learn more about them, colour in the ARGUK colouring sheets (for children of all ages). Entry free but car parking charge applies. Open from 10am to 4pm both days


Pond conservation work

Sat 29th October, 2016

Morning event from 10.00 to 13.00 to rake out invading Glyceria and do a little silt clearance from dewpond that supports newts, frogs and toads near Hartington. Tools will be provided. Meeting place Hartington Station car park on the Tissington Trail between Ashbourne and Buxton. Please let us know that you will be coming and find out extra details by emailing derbyshirearg@gmail.com.


Toad crossing patrols

Wed 1st March, 2017 - Sat 15th April, 2017

Approximate dates for 2017 toad patrols helping toads across the road at around 20 sites across Derbyshire. If you would like to assist let us know and we will put you in contact with the nearest patrol.


AGM & Spring meeting

Sat 4th March, 2017

Derbyshire ARG spring meeting and AGM

Will be held at The Whistlestop Centre Education building, Matlock Bath Station, Derbyshire from 2pm to 4.30pm

Talk by Kevin Palmer of Reaseheath College on research projects on adders and grass snakes. Highlights from last October's Vanishing Viper adder meeting and a presentation on the proposals from Natural England for District Level Licensing that were shown at the 2017 Herpetofauna Workers Meeting followed by the AGM which usually lasts for no more than 15 minutes!


Contact us

Contact Us

...
-
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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