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



Booking now open for the South East Regional Amphibian and Reptile Group Meeting at Marwell Zoo on 12th January 2019

Posted on Monday 3rd December, 2018

Please check the events calendar for details & booking. 

***Important Member Notice***

Posted on Thursday 29th November, 2018

If you are a subscribed member, please be sure to log into the Member Portal & complete your Volunteer Preferences & your Volunteer Agreement by clicking on the "My HIWARG Account" icon.
These are important so that we know which volunteering aspects you are interested in & so that you are covered under the ARG-UK umbrella when taking part in HIWARG activities.


Members' meeting update.

Posted on Saturday 17th November, 2018

A huge thank you to everyone that managed to make it through to the member’s kick off meeting today.
Lovely venue and the overall positive discussions, suggestions & so many ideas were incredibly encouraging. 
A special thanks to everyone for taking part in such good spirit. Some excellent discussions held afterwards over coffee & cookies as well and I am looking forward to hearing about some of your additional ideas.
The goal is to be able to do some activity every week of the year. Goodness knows there are enough ideas and activities to make that possible. 
We’ll be starting to populate the members’ event calendar within the next month with a range of activities that will aid herp conservation in our area.
Be sure to sign up if you are keen on being part of this so that you are on our members database to get the early editions of the newsletters and access to the members event calendar.
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HIWARG Newsletter No.1

Posted on Saturday 17th November, 2018

To be sure to get the newsletter as soon as possible join up to be on our mailing list. 

Hello & welcome to all our new members.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight ARG (HIWARG) covers one of the most diverse herpetological counties in Britain, with a breadth of species right on our doorstep, including all of the widespread amphibians and reptiles and many of our rarer species, with sand lizards, natterjacks and smooth snakes. Alongside this, the group has a rich history with many great initiatives to build on.

Just over a year ago a small group decided to revitalise the ARG. This resulted in a very successful meeting at Marwell Zoo in Nov 2017, with over 100 people attending. By the end of the afternoon we had a number of ideas for the new look HIWARG. One of these was to increase social media visibility and the new Facebook group soon had over 150 followers.  Looking through the posts & comments I am pleased to see a number of regular commentators – and more are always welcome.
Although changing personal circumstances and a busy 2018 field season have slowed things a little, we remain committed to building an active and successful group. The good news is that we are now ready to roll, and with an effective data protection compliant membership system now in place, a range of online recording tools and the recent boost in official members, we are ready to take on the challenges of an exciting and active 2019 herp season. In 2019  we hope to: increase our volunteer survey coverage across all species; undertake practical habitat management; run training days, attend events and public outreach days; work with students and other up and coming herpetologists, who will benefit from the mentoring and support our more experienced members can offer; and participate in local and national projects. One exciting new opportunity is a partnership with Ben Limburn of ARC, on their new Snakes in the Heather project (SitH).
Members' Welcome Meeting
We will also be holding a special members’ social gathering on Saturday 17th November 2018, between 14.30 – 16.30 at the Twyford Parish Hall, just south of Winchester:

Twyford Parish Hall, Hazeley Road, Twyford, WINCHESTER, SO21 1QY

The venue itself is less than a mile from Shawford Station for ease of access, and refreshments and cake will be served, to keep the energy flowing!

The focus of the afternoon will be on you, the HIWARG members, and what we can do as a group to support herp conservation in our county.  

To encourage this we will have a varied programme for the afternoon, demonstrating the new options for survey and recording, as well an interactive workshop to determine what you as the members would like to see from the group and to help us to develop our 2019 programme.

For the future, we would like you to spread the word - sharing news and information and generally increasing the visibility of the herp conservation message around Hants and IoW. The vision for the group is one of inclusiveness, engaging with and involving as many people as we can reach and making herp conservation an exciting thing to be part of.

At present we are just a small group – and we really would love to see as many of you there as possible, so please let us know if you can make it by RSVP to chair@hampshire-arg.org.uk.

With kindest regards

Pete Gillatt, Chair, HIWARG

Newsletter has gone out.

Posted on Tuesday 23rd October, 2018

Subscribed members should all have received their copy of the new newsletter. It covers some exciting prospects.
Be sure to respond ASAP. 



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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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