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



Amphibian Survey Training

Posted on Sunday 7th March, 2021


blank websiteTraining pic

I am looking at setting up some training sessions for paid members who want to start surveying HIWARG amphibian sites. The sessions will be for beginners and anyone wanting a bit more experience at survey techniques, IDs, etc.

The sessions will be a mix of online and (hopefully if the Govt's roadmap goes well) potentially some small socially distanced sessions at the end of the month/early April.

Comment on our Facebook post if you are interested, including your rough level of experience/expectations and I will start to make some plans.


Turtle Tally's New Website

Posted on Wednesday 20th January, 2021

Turtle Tally now has a new website:

"The project is aimed at collecting observational data on the locations where we see turtles and terrapins in our local lakes and ponds in the UK. If you spot them in local waterbodies, you can submit your sighting to the survey link below. Your input is so important and working together we can collect information to understand more on this topic. We have two survey links, one for the general sightings and another specifically for anglers to complete. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions and take a look at some of our pages to learn more.

Important notes:

  • Please remember that this is purely an observational study so there is no need to disturb or handle terrapins.
  • Please ensure your safety when near open bodies of water.
  • Releasing non-native species in the UK can result in prosecution."

To visit the new website click https://www.turtletally.co.uk


Posted on Wednesday 20th January, 2021

We have a few diary dates coming up. Necessarily these are all online, in these COVID-19 times - but we are hoping that with the vaccine coming on stream that we will all be able to get out and about later in the spring and do some practical conservation.

The first of these on 28th January at 7:30 pm is a relaunch of London ARG. We know that many of you are far from London, but if you have a friend or other connection there that might enjoy getting involved, please do pass on the details. We've had quite a lot of interest so are hoping that this new push will get LondonARG up and running again.


The second diary date is the 2021 Herpetofauna Workers Meeting on Sat-Sun 6-7 February. We've stayed with the weekend format, and once again are offering a mixture of presentations and workshops. We are sorry to be missing out on some of the social networking, although there will still be our world famous quiz #HIGNFY - but this is a good compromise given the restrictions we are facing, and is a great opportunity to catch up on the latest news and research, and hopefully feel inspired for the new amphibian and reptile season. The event is hosted on the ARC website - and they will be able to answer any further organisational questions.

To register for the event please follow the link to the ARC Trust website: https://www.arc-trust.org/Event/hwm2021

The third date is our ARG UK AGM. Again, given the restrictions we've opted for an online format - and rather than trying to squeeze it into the HWM, are having it as a stand alone event on Thursday 18th February from 7:15 pm. Free to all of our affiliated ARGS and their members (plus any potential ARG members), we are making the most of the geographical freedom offered by Zoom to hear from some of our ARGs and other friends from all over UK and Ireland including: Sheila Dyason (Dorset – DARN), Suzie Collinson (Cumbria - CARG ), Kevin Clarke (Nottinghamshire ARG), Erik Paterson (ClydeARG), Trevor Rose (Friends of Angus Herpetofauna & British Herpetological Society), Rob Gandola (Herpetological Society of Ireland), Ryan Boyle (Northern Ireland ARG), Matt Legg (NW Wales ARG) and Pembrokeshire ARG.

We will be hearing more about: monitoring slow-worms in churchyards, finding adders in Pembrokeshire, digging ponds in NW Wales, restoring wetlands in Ireland, a photographic calendar competition, conserving amphibians in Scotland, ambitious plans for installing amphibian escape ladders, TikTok tadpoles in Northern Ireland, and making grass snake egg laying heaps in Nottinghamshire - plus a rather fabulous video. So please do come along, be inspired, share your news and views and have a say in how we coordinate our fantastic network of volunteer amphibian and reptile groups.

To sign up follow the link to eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/arg-uk-2021-annual-general-meeting-agm-with-arg-updates-tickets-135964909705?fbclid=IwAR2myNJrnL7Qe26K9HBVs8ccv91eAikRUtoDq5BUMXUjgiqXGwfDqsdsReg

ARG UK Autumn Seminar Series : ARG projects - ice age ponds, moving cycleways and finding adders!

Posted on Sunday 6th December, 2020

The last one of ARG UK's Autumn Seminar Series on Thursday 10th December, when we will be hearing from some ARGs about what they've been doing during the year. This seminar has been evolving as more ARG speakers have come forward! So welcome to 'ARG projects - ice age ponds, moving cycleways and finding adders!' Introduced by ARG UK Chair of Trustees, Chris Monk (Derbyshire ARG), we will hear from Will Watson (Herefordshire Amphibian and Reptile Team - HART), about the new National Lottery funded 'Ice Age Pond Project' which aims to map the biodiversity and geology of the ancient and unique glacial kettle-hole ponds in Herefordshire. Then we will hear from Stephen Green of Cornwall College, and Cornwall Reptile and Amphibian Group (CRAG), who will be telling us how they moved the route of a proposed cycle path to save their local reptiles. And finally we will be hearing from Ben Rigsby and Harry Searle-Webb of GlosARG and ARAG who will be telling us more about how they used their field craft experiences to find new and unexpected adder sites in South Gloucestershire. Presentations will be followed by a general discussion with an opportunity for participants to ask questions or raise other points. (Images copyright Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and Harry Searle-Webb).

To sign up please follow the link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/arg-uk-autumn-seminar-series-args-end-of-year-get-together-tickets-117011515593?fbclid=IwAR3Mo6g8rpDmPFGwpycgc42HvxHuCg_AVHJ01kNgq1WLQbuntyKH5QiFlEE

arguk end of year2020seminar

Turtle Tally 2021

Posted on Monday 16th November, 2020

In the world of nature conservation, the potentially devastating effect of invasive species on native ecosystems is a constant topic of discussion. There has been much recent discussion around the post-Brexit nature and biodiversity strategy, including EU Regulation 1143/2014 - on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) - which came into force on 1st January 2015. It has yet to be clarified how the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern, which is central to this Regulation, will be updated and administered when the UK leaves the EU.

Further restrictions may be applied on keeping, selling, breeding and growing, which may result in many reptile breeders being forced to keep their animals for life, rather than give them away or sell them. Consequently, this has the potential to result in many animals being abandoned into the wild. To address some of these concerns, Hadlow College have launched a citizen science project, in association with the British Herpetological Society (BHS), to collect data from the general public on introduced turtle and terrapin species in the UK.

More information on the Turtle Tally and a link to the survey can be found at https://www.hadlow.ac.uk/turtletally

Turtle Tally Poster 2021



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          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.


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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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