Amphibian and Reptile Group of Lancashire (ARGL)
Join us on Facebook

About us

About Us

ARGL exists to promote the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Lancashire and Greater Manchester and we do this in a variety of ways. We’re always happy to work with other groups that share our general objectives, so if you’re part of another organisation and feel that we could work in partnership please get in touch.

There’s always lots more ARGL could do, but we achieve as much as we can with the resources available. If you’re able to help organise events please contact us.


Data searches

In 2010 ARGSL launched the Lancashire Amphibian and Reptile Atlas project (LARA).LARA holds over 5000 records covering Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.If you would like to request a data search for amphibian or reptile records in Lancashire, Greater Manchester or Merseyside, please follow this link and submit your data search request to LARA.


 ARGL was formerly known as ARGSL

This ARG was established in 2004 and known as ARGSL (The Amphibian and Reptile Group of South Lancashire) until 2017. The name change to ARGL was made to more accurately reflect the recording area of the group. Much of the publicity material produced by ARGSL is still relevant today, so we've included it in our downloads section. We haven't gone through an expensive re-branding exercise so you'll find many references to ARGSL remain throughout this website. 



ARGL Review of 2018

Posted on Sunday 17th March, 2019

ARGSL Review of 2017

Posted on Monday 26th February, 2018


Read about the highlights of 2017 and find out what ARGSL has been doing to promote the conservation of amphibians and reptiles.



Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

Pond surveys in April 2018

Fri 13th April, 2018 - Sun 15th April, 2018

If you'd like to develop the skills to find out which species of amphibian are present in a pond, we have two events planned so far:


April 13th: Phillips Park, Whitefield. - meet at 19.15 finishing around 21.30-22.00. There will be a return visit the following morning to retrieve bottle traps.

April 13th: Boz Park, Whitefield. This will be another opportunity to practice amphibian survey techniques, but without the use of bottle traps.


If you'd like to attend either event please contact David Orchard: argsl* Please note that numbers are limited and that places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.





December 2nd 2018: Habitat management at Rixton Claypits

Sun 2nd December, 2018

On Sunday December 2nd we'll be working at Rixton Claypits to improve the habitat for great crested newts. The work will involve the removal of scrub to prevent excessive shading of ponds. Meet at the Visitors Centre at 10am, or please contact us for further details.

Spring events

Fri 22nd March, 2019 - Fri 31st May, 2019

Arranging survey events in spring is always difficult as it’s the busiest time of year for many people. However this year we’re trying something new: a number of ARGL members have offered to coordinate one event each which has provided an interesting and varied programme.

Please take a look at the list of events listed for March to May and if you’d like to attend any of them please e-mail us asap. One of the challenges is that it’s difficult to confirm survey dates in advance, mainly due to the weather, but also due to people’s work commitments. We’ll let the event organiser know you’re interested and they’ll be in touch with you directly to confirm a date, time and place to meet up. If you’ve any queries please get in touch.


Late March/early April

Pond digging at Oakwood Park, Salford

Visit to natterjack breeding pools near Ainsdale

Slow-worm survey near Timperley (from April onwards)


Late April/ May

Amphibian survey training near Bolton (late April/early May)

Amphibian survey near Chorley

Amphibian survey near Hale Village/Speke in South Liverpool (late April/early May)

Amphibian surveys in Bolton and Blackburn (April/May)

Saturday October 26th 2019: Habitat Management at Risley Moss

Sat 26th October, 2019 - Sat 26th October, 2019

Risley Moss is an outstanding SSSI and an excellent habitat for both amphibians and reptiles. This task will help rangers from Warrington Borough Council to implement the management plan for the site by removing scrub from specific areas. 

Where: Meet at Risley Moss Visitor Centre, Birchwood, Ordnance Avenue, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 6QX

Time: 10am. (Tasks usually last until mid afternoon.)

What to bring: Lunch, plenty of water, waterproofs and strong footwear or wellies (definitely no trainers). Please wear old clothes and bring a pair of work gloves if you have them. Tools, hard hats and gloves will be provided for those that need them.  




Pond management at Lyndale Fields (near Preston)

Sat 2nd November, 2019 - Sat 2nd November, 2019

During this task we'll be helping staff from South Ribble Borough Council to manage a historic pond which dates back to at least 1845. It is located within some excellent terrestrial habitat and common frog, common toad and smooth newts have been recorded there. This task will reduce shading to the pond by removing some trees and scrub.

Where: Meet on Lyndale Avenue, Lostock Hall, Preston, PR5 5UU. If you're attending this task please get in touch for details of where to park.

Time: 10am. (Tasks usually last until mid afternoon.)

What to bring: Lunch, plenty of water, waterproofs and strong footwear or wellies (definitely no trainers). Please wear old clothes and bring a pair of work gloves if you have them. Tools, hard hats and gloves will be provided for those that need them. 



Why become a member of ARGL?


Becoming a member of ARGL is a great way to help us, and to develop your knowledge and skills too. The annual membership fee for ARGL is £6.00. Membership entitles people to:

  • e-mail updates on ARGL's activities and achievements
  • The opportunity to take part in ARGL activities, e.g. surveys and conservation tasks.
  • ARG UK Insurance when involved in these activities.
  • A reduced registration fee at the national ARG UK amphibian and reptile conference.

Even if you don’t join in with our activities, simply being a member demonstrates your support and this helps us to promote the case for amphibian and reptile conservation. Membership subscriptions are used carefully by the group and for essential expenses and to support practical conservation work.

To join ARGL please complete both forms below and e-mail them to us at argsl*



Please pay your £6 membership fee by BACS. Details are: 

The Amphibian and Reptile Group of South Lancashire
The Co-op Bank
Sort code: 089299
Account number 65172737

Under “payment reference” please enter your name so we know it’s your membership payment that’s been received.

ARG UK has produced a generic risk assessment and all volunteers are advised to read this carefully before taking part in activities:


The group was known as ARGSL from 2004-2017, but the name change was made to more accurately reflect the recording area of the group. The group bank account retains the name of ARGSL. 



Lancashire amphibian and reptile atlas project


One of ARGL’s main objectives is to collect data on the distribution of amphibians and reptiles. Our main project is the Lancashire Amphibian and Reptile Atlas Project (LARA). To find out more, please go to the project’s website:



Help with pond creation available to landowners



Whats in your pond?

whats in your pond logo survey

To help us find out more about garden ponds as habitats for amphibians, please take part in the What's in Your Pond? project. If you don't have a pond of your own, why not take a look at a garden pond belonging to a friend or relative? All records will be incorporated into the Lancashire Amphibian and Reptile Atlas project.



The North West slow-worm hunt




ARGSL Review of 2017


ARGSL Review of 2016


ARGSL Review of 2015


ARGSL Review of 2014


ARGSL Review of 2013


ARGSL Review of 2012


ARGSL Update 2011


ARGSL Update 2010


Contact us

Contact Us

The best way to contact ARGL is by e-mail to David Orchard (chair of ARGL)

We’ll do our best to respond to your enquiry as quickly as possible but please be patient as we’re all volunteers and our time is limited. Thankyou!

Committee members

ARGSL is a voluntary group and is run by a committee of dedicated people. New members are always welcome!

Chair: Dr David Orchard
Treasurer: Lorna Bousfield
Records Database Manager: Dr. Lee Brady


Upcoming Events

Latest News

© Amphibian and Reptile Group of Lancashire (ARGL)
Website hits: 58307

Forgot Login?