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 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





DARG Activities 2021

Posted on Monday 22nd February, 2021

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

All events this summer cancelled

Posted on Saturday 16th May, 2020

With the news that the Derbyshire Woodland Festival in late September will not now go ahead all our public engagement events across Derbyshire this summer have been cancelled due to the restrictions around the coronavirus pandemic. At the present time all other group activities such as surveys are suspended until such time as restrictions are amended and group gatherings of people in the open are allowed.

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

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.

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



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 - NEW DATE

Sat 16th February, 2019 - Sat 16th February, 2019

Weather permitting we have re-arranged this from last month when it was snowed off.


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,

For Toad Crossings and to contact our Derbyshire Toad Crossings Co-ordinator please email

Upcoming Events

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