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 firstname.lastname@example.org
I am delighted to say our recording effort is steadily increasing – this is great news but we still need your help! Remember, your record of a frog in your garden may fill an empty 1km square or update an old record. One of the highlights in 2012 was that we hosted the annual ARG UK SE Regional Meeting at Marwell with the theme of ‘Best Practice; legislation, survey & mitigation’. This was obviously a popular topic as it was attended by over 90 delegates from all aspects of herpetology. As development pressure increases, it is increasingly up to each of us to protect what we can despite living under “the greenest government ever”.
We live in uncertain times with regard to the economy and the environment and we hope the conference stirred some positive support for herptiles on a national level. Continuing the positive note, field events were well-attended (by both people and herptiles) as well as our Species Groups social in Winchester [isn’t there a saying about ‘as drunk as a newt’? Eds]. Shatterford Bottom, in the heart of the New Forest, was a fantastic venue for a summer evening walk listening to the raucous Marsh Frog, churring Nightjars, drumming Snipe and other nocturnal wildlife. On our trip to Boscombe, all participants were rewarded with stunning views of both Green and Wall Lizards. Remember HARG is always looking for members with even just a small amount of time to help run events, meetings and organise surveys. So if you’d like to get involved in some small way please get in touch.
OR 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.
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