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

Natterjack Toads talk and Derbyshire ARG AGM

Sat 2nd March, 2019 - Sat 2nd March, 2019

Derbyshire ARG AGM & Spring meeting from 2.30 to 4.30pm

2.30 pm Talk by Dr Graham Rowe, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Sciences at Derby University about Natterjack Toads in the British Isles, their conservation and what we can learn from their genetic patterns. Graham spent a decade working on Natterjack Toad research at the University of Sussex with Prof. Trevor Beebee.

Followed by the Derbyshire ARG AGM at 4.00pm

Venue: Derbyshire Wildlife Trust HQ, Sandy Hill, Main Street, Middleton by Wirksworth, DE4 4LR

Free parking at venue

2.00 pm

A Natter About Natterjacks: Ice Age Genetics Patterns and the Conservation of the Natterjack Toad in Britain.  

Presentation by Dr Graham Rowe, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Ecology at Derby University


3.25 pm Tea / coffee break


 3.40 pm    Group Annual General Meeting

  1. Apologies for absence
  1. Matters arising from the minutes of the 2018 AGM
  1. Chair’s Report
  1. Membership subscription - the committee proposes that a membership subscription fee of £5.00 is introduced in 2019
  1. Treasurer ‘s Report
  1. Election of  Group Officers

     Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer

7.  Election of committee members

     There are currently vacancies for 2 further committee members

  1. Any other formal business
4.00 pm

County Toads Crossing Co-ordinator Role

Kelvin Lawrence

Including preparation for the Toads on Roads 2019 season, updated guidance and renewal of volunteer insurance forms for toad crossing volunteers.

  4.30 pm   Close

Toad crossings

Mon 4th March, 2019 - Mon 1st April, 2019

Depending on weather conditions across the county we will be running our volunteer toad crossing patrols at various sites across the county from Overseal in the south to Furness Vale in the north. These may start & finish earlier if weather is mild and damp.

If you would like to volunteer please contact our County Toad Crossing Co-Ordinator Kelvin Lawrence at

Adder field survey meeting

Sat 23rd March, 2019 - Sat 23rd March, 2019

Members only event

Details & location to be confirmed

GCN Survey training course

Sat 4th May, 2019 - Sun 5th May, 2019

Great Crested Newts and Licensing for Surveys training course.

Saturday 4th May and Sunday 5th May 2019

Hilton, South Derbyshire

A one day training course and field survey session on the Saturday followed by shorter field survey session on the Sunday morning.

This will cover Species ID, Ecology, Legal status and Licensing, Great crested newt survey methods including environmental DNA (eDNA), the GCN Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) and Biosecurity, followed by field sessions demonstating survey methods, including bottle trapping and torchlight surveys.

This course is open to non-members at a cost of £30 Opportuntities after the course to gain further experience by taking part in Derbyshire ARG GCN survey trips in the Peak District National Park and adjacent areas.




Course details pdfGCN_Training_Course_details_2019.pdf


Torchlight amphibian surveys

Tue 7th May, 2019 - Sat 1st June, 2019

The survey on 14th May is now fully booked but we will be surveying other sites in May, particularly monitoring great crested newt colonisation of newly restored dewponds in the Peak District National Park and monitoring some nature reserve ponds in Derbyshire. If you are interested in joining a survey please contact is on

Newt survey

Sat 11th May, 2019 - Sun 12th May, 2019

To install bottle traps for a newt survey at a site near Hartington in the Peak District National Park.

Start time on Saturday 17.00 duration approximately 2 hours, followed up by visit to check and remove traps on Sunday morning at 9.30am

To book a place email us at

PondNet GCN eDNA survey

Sat 18th May, 2019 - Sat 18th May, 2019

Field trip to undertake 5th year of eDNA sampling for Freshwater Habitats Trust's PondNet Project at the Pilsbury site near Hartington in the Peak District National Park. So far we have had two years with positive and two years with negative eDNA results for great crested newt presence in the pond. Also to complete the Pond Habitat survey recording form on site

Start time 9.30am, duration approximately 2 hours (its a long walk to the pond from the nearest farm!)

To book a place email us at

Hardwick Hall Bioblitz

Sat 29th June, 2019 - Sat 29th June, 2019

We will be at the National Trust's Bioblitz on their Hardwick Hall estate between 10am and 4pm.

Apart from our information display on native amphibians and reptiles which will be in the Stableyard you can join us as we carry out a reptile survey at various locations within the estate to see what species we can find.

Derbyshire Countryside Service's Woodland Festival at Elvaston Castle Country Park

Sat 21st September, 2019 - Sun 22nd September, 2019

We will be at this popular annual event again this year with our information display on native amphibians and reptiles, together with childrens activities and asking adults for any herpetological sightings.


DANES Annual Show

Sat 9th November, 2019 - Sat 9th November, 2019

We will be having a stand at the annual Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Entomological Society's  Exhibition / Insect Show at Nottingham Trent University, Brackenhurst Campus, Southwell, Notts, NG25 0QF. The campus is located on the A612 Nottingham Road. Onsite refreshments will be available. Full details to follow.

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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