Hampshire And Isle of Wight Amphibian and Reptile Group (HIWARG)
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About us

About Us

Hampshire is fortunate that the county covers a huge geographic area and a very diverse breadth of habitat including: the Isle of Wight, the New Forest National Park, the South Downs National Park, as well as many other unspoiled areas, including Woolmer Forest.
It is therefore unsurprising that we are host to 12 out of the 13 native amphibians and reptiles in UK, including rarities such as the Natterjack Toad, Sand Lizard and Smooth Snake, and wherever you live in the county there will be opportunities to survey and monitor an assemblage of amphibian and reptile species.

HIWARG is an newly affiliated independent ARG-UK group. The group focus is conservation of native UK species essentially around habitat management, surveying, public engagement, volunteer training & doing as much as possible to understand & protect the native species in the county.
All members are volunteers with a common interest.

If you have some spare time and would like to be involved with HIWARG, maybe you have taken a photo of a reptile or amphibian and would like it identified or maybe you have some other query, then please do get in contact  info@hiwarg.org.uk 




Heathland restoration across some of the sites we survey

Posted on Monday 12th October, 2020

HCS have their own portal directly into ARGWEB and have been using the data from our surveys to aid their planning towards improving the habitat for various species and now have evidence based information related to herps on the sites. The fact that they specifically recognise reptiles in the release is an encouraging sign. We'll continue to survey these areas and provide important feedback over the following years.

We also plan be setting up joint volunteer activities with the local HCS commons volunteers again during winter so look out for the events.

"We appreciate that these works can sometimes seem quite destructive and can initially be visually unappealing, however, after a relatively short period of time and with some targeted follow-up management the open heathland habitats begin to flourish and species typically associated with them start to utilise the additional habitat available to them. It is hoped that within 3-5 years heathland habitats within these areas will have re-stablished and in fact have begun to flourish."

To read the full blog post by the Yateley Ranger Team visit Heathland Restoration 2020

ARG UK Autumn Seminar Series: District Level Licencing

Posted on Monday 12th October, 2020

Click the link to register ARG UK Autumn Seminar Series: District Level Licencing – a new approach to managing great crested newts in the planning system

Thursday 15 Oct 2020 19:30 – 21:00

An exploration and evaluation of a new approach to managing great crested newts in the planning system. Presented by Jonathan Cranfield (Recording Officer, HIWARG and Director of Herpetologic Ltd), we will be learning more about what the new District Level Licensing system aims to achieve in terms of benefits to great crested newts and wildlife, as well as developers, and how this works in practice. We will be hearing from Mike Phillips (Kent Reptile and Amphibian Group, KRAG), Donna Popplewell (Bakerwell Consultants), Tilly Tillbrook (Director at Integrated Ecological Solutions Ltd) and Luke Gorman (Associate Director, Atkins Global). Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion with an opportunity for participants to ask questions or raise other points. (Images copyright Julian Smart and Angela Julian).

ARG UK Autumn Seminar Series

Posted on Tuesday 15th September, 2020

Visit ARG UK's Eventbrite page to sign up to their free "Autumn Seminar Series" webinars.


Pool Frog Survey 2020

Posted on Monday 31st August, 2020

On Sunday 30th August, HIWARG had its second field trip to help determine the extent of a population of Southern Clade Pool Frogs, Pelophylax lessonae. We are hoping to map the distribution of this species in North Hampshire and will be carrying out ongoing surveys in the general area. Pool Frogs in the UK are split into two "Clades", which effectively means 'natural group'. Pool Frog populations that were present in Norfolk were considered to be non-native, until they were identified as Northern Clade Pool Frogs and most likely native. Northern Clade Pool Frogs are a rare group found mainly in Scandinavia, Estonia and up until the mid 1990s, in Eastern England. Following the extinction of the UK populations, a reintroduction programme began in 2005.

However, the population in Hampshire are known to be Southern Clade Pool Frogs from mainland Europe and are considered non-native and this population were previously known to be carriers of the Chytridiomycosis disease. Our first survey earlier in the summer involved capturing animals to swab for Chytrid and we are following this up with further surveys, moving away from the main breeding ponds. Keep watching the website and our social media platforms for updates of this project.

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68 Years of Herping

Posted on Saturday 22nd August, 2020

We received a kind donation by a member of the group of a few 100 old journals, bulletins & news letters, some dating back to 1952. Along with some lovely historical pieces such as the registration form for Herp Workers Meeting 1997 (some of the wording still identical today 😊 ) and others.

Look at some of the tours available in 1989…. interesting when one sees how little things have changed and virtually the identical headlines are still featuring now some 30-50 years later e.g. Declining Amphibian Populations, Pool Frog populations in UK, Adder declines etc.

One day when we have a “club house” these will make up part of our library.

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Show Past Events

Habitat Management at Hurn Forest

Sun 1st November, 2020 - Sun 1st November, 2020

The first of a series of habitat management tasks at Hurn Forest. Mainly removing birch and pine to allow more light to fall on the heather. An important site for reptiles. More details nearer the time. This will be a joint event with DARN.

Sunday 1st November 2020 from 10am to 1pm

To sign up, visit the Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/730342627695458/  or email info@hiwarg.org.uk

Join up or Log In

Join up or Log In

          Members sign in here

Membership costs just £6.00 per year as a subscription that can be cancelled at any time. 
Your membership will help HIWARG to protect the amphibians & reptile of Hampshire. 
Be aware of and take part in conservation opportunities, surveys and many other activities across the county.


Click here to go directly to PayPal to subscribe as a member:

Donate to HIWARG

Donate to HIWARG

You can help HIWARG achieve its goals by a simple donation towards our activities.
Donations are put towards equipment used for habitat management, surveys and public engagement such as printed material and fact sheets to hand out during educational events.




Info & ID guides

Info & ID guides

Identification Guides

Amphibian Identification - downloadable colour cards

Newt Eggs & Larvae - downloadable colour cards  

Reptile Identification - downloadable colour cards   


Advice and Information

ARC's "Dogs and Adders" Advice Sheet

pdfFixing Enkamat to Gully pots Initial findings in Sussex



pdfSlow Worms in Churchyards (A DARN project supported by HIWARG)


Improving Herp habitat

Creating Garden Ponds - downloadable booklet   

Herp diseases - recognise & report

Advice Note-4: Amphibian disease precautions - a guide for uk fieldworkers

Snake Fungal Disease  

Toad fly (Lucilia bufonivora)   

Amphibian Chytridiomycosis  

Ranavirus Disease  

Reptile Slough Genebank - collection & submission of found sloughs 


Health and Safety

Buddy System/Lone Working Procedures

pdfARG UK Generic Risk Assessment July2020


pdfUsing GPX files with ViewRanger

Useful glossary of terms often used within the herpetological field. (Credit due - unknown)      

Kids stuff - Educational items for the young ones

            Pond pack                                         Animal fact sheets                               Animal colouring sheets    
Pond Pack                     Alfie1                             Sammy1

Contact us

Contact Us

If you would like more information about HIWARG or have something to share with us, please get in touch via the link to our social media presence. 


Upcoming Events

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