Derbyshire Amphibian and Reptile Group
Follow us on Twitter
Join us on Facebook

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 to join. There is currently no membership subscription required, 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 2018 - 2019 the committee elected at the AGM on 23rd June 2018 are:

Chair - Christian Murray-Leslie, Vice Chair - Kelvin Lawrence, Secretary - Chris Monk, Treasurer - Jayne Thompson
Committee members - Richard Fenn Griffin, Lisa Lawrence, Matt Liston, James Longley, Trevor Taylor

See a previous newsletters here pdf2016_Autumn-Winter.pdf 





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.

Spring Meting postponed

Posted on Thursday 1st March, 2018

The Group's Spring Meeting and AGM due to be held on Saturday 3rd March has been cancelled due to the heavy snow and ice. It will be re-arranged for later on this spring when the weather is better.



Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

Pond management task

Sat 27th January, 2018

Pond work party to carry out vegetation clearance at two ponds on Hartington Meadows nature reserve in the Peak District National Park. 10.00am to 1.30pm, tools provided. Contact us if interested in helping.

Spring meeting and AGM - MEETING POSTPONED

Sat 3rd March, 2018

Due to the weather conditions this meeting has been postponed and will be re-arranged for later this spring

Indoor meeting with a talk by Kevin Palmer of Reaseheath College on various native British reptile research projects he has been running in recent years followed by the Group AGM

Reptile Survey Training

Sat 28th April, 2018

Learn about surveying our widespread native reptile species - grass snake, adder, slow-worm and common lizard at this DARG event. Indoor session in the morning followed by visit to nearby reptile survey site that supports grass snake and slow-worm in the afternoon.

The course is based at the Florence Nightingale Memorial Hall, Holloway, Derbyshire DE4 5BD situated between Cromford and Crich. It will run from 10am to 4pm, tea/coffee & biscuits provided, bring your own lunch.

Costs (to cover venue hire) are DARG members £5.00, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust members £5.00, non-members £10.00

To book a place contact

Farm dewpond surveys

Wed 6th June, 2018 - Thu 21st June, 2018

Interested in helping with visits to restored dewponds on three farms at Middleton by Youlgrave in the Peak District National Park, involving daytime visits and evening torchlight surveys? If so then contact us on

Reptile Research Projects Talk and Derbyshire ARG toad crossing updates & AGM

Sat 23rd June, 2018

Replacement date for our meeting postponed from March (due to the snow)

Indoor meeting with a talk by Kevin Palmer of Reaseheath College on various native British reptile research projects he has been running in recent years; also an update on 2018 Toad Crossings and report back from Froglife's Toad Summit held on 19th June in Peterborough followed by the Group AGM.

Time from 14.00 to 16.30

To be held at the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust HQ at Sandy Hill, Middleton by Wirksworth, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 4LR

The HQ is on the B5023 road, 240 metres north of the traffic lights at the Rise End crossroads and there is ample free parking around the building.


Pond dipping

Sat 30th June, 2018

Pond dipping at the Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve, Wingerworth near Chesterfield

We will have our group display stand and will be carrying out pond dipping sessions at 12.00 and 2.30pm on this Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve as part of the DWT Local Group's event.

Location The Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve, Mill Lane, Wingerworth, S42 6NG

Family Garden and Wildlife Event

Sat 25th August, 2018

Derbyshire ARG will be having a stand and engaging with the public about reptiles and amphibians at this event being run at the Barrow Hill Roundhouse Railway Centre near Chesterfield.

Location: Campbell Drive, Barrow Hill, Chesterfield, S43 2PR

Derbyshire Woodland Festival

Sat 22nd September, 2018 - Sun 23rd September, 2018

Once again Derbyshire ARG will have a 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 5pm both days

Wildlife show at Derby University

Sat 10th November, 2018 - Sat 10th November, 2018

Derby ARG have been invited to have a stand at the 2018 DaNES (Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Entomological Society) Annual Show being held at Derby University. There will be a large number of exhibits by individuals and organisations - informative displays, demonstrations, hands-on activities, live insects and sales stalls. There will also be a series of interesting talks throughout the day. Plenty to see, do and buy, and a café for refreshments. Wheelchair friendly. Free parking and FREE ADMISSION. So do come along to this free event between 10.30am and 4.30pm

Great crested newt farm dewpond conservation task

Sat 19th January, 2019 - Sat 19th January, 2019

Volunteers needed to help us with the clearance of some of the Typha from a large traditional clay and stone sett dewpond near the High Peak Trail. The farm is located on the edge of the Peak District National Park near Brassington, Derbyshire DE4 4HP and just off the B5056 Ashbourne road. 

Tools will be provided courtesy of the Derby City Pond Wardens Association please bring your own wellies, gloves and suitable clothing for the task, which will run from 10.00am to finish by 2.00pm

The farmyard dewpond was last cleaned out by us in 2011 and David & Felicity have asked us to repeat this as a floating mat of Typha has spread across the pond and needs to be broken up & pulled out. The large dewpond is home to great crested newts and other amphibians with GCN records dating back over 30 years. ,

Please contact the Group on to receive details of where to meet on site or to see if a lift is available
from Cromford Market Place or station.

Contact us

Contact Us

Or contact the secretary at:
Hilburn, Chapel Lane,

Upcoming Events

© Derbyshire Amphibian and Reptile Group
Website hits: 9627

Forgot Login?