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 formed in the Autumn of 2018 and is an 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 



Visit HIWARG's Redbubble Shop to support our work www.redbubble.com/people/HIWARG/shop



ARG UK Autumn Seminar Series: Amphibian diseases – Understanding and managing the spread of an aggressive amphibian disease.

Posted on Wednesday 11th November, 2020

Thu, 12 November 2020   19:30 – 21:00 GMT

Focusing on the novel form of chytrid, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Presented by Alice Pawlik (Trustee, ARG UK), the seminar will open with an overview of the current status of amphibian diseases in the UK, from Joseph Heaver at the Institute of Zoology (ZSL)based on findings from the Garden Wildlife Health programme.
We will then focus more closely on the epidemiology of Bsal, a new form of chytrid that has virtually extirpated wild fire salamanders from parts of continental Europe, and may pose a threat to some of our native newts should it enter wild populations in UK.
We will be hearing from Annamarieke Spitzen (RAVON), and Stefano Canessa (Wildlife Health Ghent), who will discuss the difficulties of responding to, and managing an aggressive amphibian disease in the light of experiences from Southern Europe. Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion with an opportunity for participants to ask questions or raise other points. (Images copyright Sam Kelly and Steve Allain).

Please note this is an online event powered by Zoom. With thanks to The Garfield Weston Foundation, who have kindly sponsored our evening on Amphibian Diseases.

Simply click here to register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/arg-uk-autumn-seminar-series-amphibian-diseases-tickets-113833426844   


Posted on Thursday 29th October, 2020

If you've ever wanted to cuddle up to an adder, but don't fancy all the bitey stuff, pop over to the new and sparkly HIWARG Redbubble shop and buy one of the adder design cushions. While you are there, check out the different designs and the oodles of goodies for personal treats or for Christmas and birthday presents. Don't forget to share with friends and families as well.

Visit the shop at  http://www.redbubble.com/people/hiwarg/portfolio


ARG UK Autumn Seminar Series

Posted on Saturday 24th October, 2020

ARG UK are adding recordings of their successful Autumn Seminar Series to their YouTube account.

So far they have uploaded:

  • Dragons in the Hills
  • Vanishing Vipers - conserving adders in 21st century landscapes
  • Conserving South African amphibians and reptiles
  • District Level Licencing – a new approach to managing great crested newts in the planning system

More will be added over time, so if you missed out or want to revisit any of these interesting seminars, visit ARG UK's Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCACtKecaEbK7Yd-9GdZW3jQ

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).



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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

Policies/Health & Safety                                                              

pdfHIWARG Safeguarding Policy and Protocols June 2020

Buddy System/Lone Working Procedures

pdfARG UK Generic Risk Assessment July2020


Identification Guides

Amphibian Identification - downloadable colour cards

Newt Eggs & Larvae - downloadable colour cards  

Reptile Identification - downloadable colour cards

Non-Native Species ID Sheets (NNSS Website)

Alien Amphibian and Reptile Species in the UK


Advice and Information

ARC's "Dogs and Adders" Advice Sheet

"There is a Snake in my Garden - What can I do?" (ARG UK)


Projects & Citizen Science

pdfDARN's 'Slow Worms in Churchyards' project

pdf'Amphibians & Reptiles on Allotments' Introduction Leaflet

pdf"Spawn Spotters" presentation 12 Jan 2021

pdfToad Patrol presentation 12 Jan 2021

pdfGotta love a larva  presentation 9 July 2021

HIWARG Video: Spawn Spotters and Toad Patrols Jan 2021

HIWARG Video: Amphibian surveys: ID'S & Survey Methods March 2021


Habitat Management and Creation

Creating Garden Ponds - downloadable booklet   

Creating Ponds for Amphibians and Reptiles (Freshwater Habitats Trust)

Habitat Management guides (Buglife) - Not specifically herp based but a great set of guides

How to Create Invertebrate and Reptile Mounds (Magnificent Meadows)

Creating Grass Snake Egg-laying Heaps (ARG UK and RAVON)


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 

Garden Wildlife Health - Severe Perkinsea Infection (SPI)

GWH - Guidelines for safe disposal of waste water and other materials from captive amphibian enclosures



pdfUsing GPX files with ViewRanger

pdfFixing Enkamat to Gully Pots - Initial Findings in Sussex

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

Upcoming events will be listed here.

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