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 



HIWARG Redbubble Shop: http://www.redbubble.com/people/hiwarg/portfolio




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

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



Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

HARG Committee Meeting - Golden Lion in Winchester

Sat 3rd June, 2017

We are holding a HARG committee meeting at the Golden Lion in Winchester (http://www.thegoldenlionwinchester.co.uk) at 1:00pm on Saturday 3rd June.

We will meet over lunch, and sort out the business end of the committee until 3:00 pm.  This will be followed by a walk on the Butterfly Conservation reserve at Magdalen Hill Down (http://butterfly-conservation.org/2401-1937/magdalen-hill-down-hampshire.html).

All are welcome, but please do contact us on info@arguk.org if you wish to come so that we can book a big enough space for us all.

ARG UK South East Regional Meeting at Marwell Zoo

Sat 12th January, 2019

Great news - our SE Amphibian and Reptile Groups meeting on 12th January 2019 (10.00 - 16.00) at Marwell Zoo, is now open for bookings.

We have space for just 109 delegates so if you wish to come, get signed up as soon as you can. We have a fantastic programme with all of the local ARGs contributing as well as some special guests! We'll be hearing about all our native herps from smooth snakes and adders to frogs and common toads, and it will be a great opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues.

And best of all, thanks to the generosity of Marwell Wildlife and SARG, we've been able to keep ticket prices as low as possible (just £10 full price and £6 for the unwaged) so all our wonderful volunteers can come. Book now - and we'll see you there!!

Book here

Members event: Spawn count survey

Sun 13th January, 2019

Details will be posted on the members calendar

Heathland management task - New Forest - Work off the Christmas feast :-)

Tue 15th January, 2019 - Wed 16th January, 2019

Help Amphibian & Reptile Conservation's Field Team with a heathland management task on the disused Burley railway embankment, New Forest. 
Dates: Tuesday 15th January and 16th January 2019.   
Meeting point: Burbush car park, Pound Lane (south west of Burley) at grid reference  SU 202 018. 
Meet up time in car park 10 am - phone in advance or just turn up on either day!  All volunteers will then be taken to the site together.  If you get delayed or just want to attend for the afternoon, please phone one of the ARC Field Team on arrival.  
ARC contact numbers: Nick Moulton (07810 184507) or Rick Sharp (07810 770565), although note that reception may be poor for some networks.  This area supports all six reptile species and is also very important for invertebrates. 
Management will include tree and scrub clearance mostly using hand tools - any chainsaw work will be done by the ARC Field Team in a separate area.  
The ARC field team usually work until  3 - 4 pm, although volunteers can stay as long as they wish on either or both days! 
Bring warm (old) clothes, good walking boots, gloves, waterproofs, lunch and drinks.
Some hand tools will be available for HIWARG volunteers to use, but do bring your own bow saws or bill hooks if you have them. 
NB: if the weather is very poor on either day volunteers should re-consider attending as the embankment has a steep slope in places that becomes slippery when wet.


Sun 20th January, 2019 - Thu 28th February, 2019

She rescued 1254 toads last year which is really good with so few volunteers! She really would appreciate some support and extra volunteers.
"Re the toads crossing!
They will start to cross anytime now if the temperature reaches 6 degrees upwards and wind chill the same.
We only do it when the temperature is 6 degrees upwards, we start at dusk, that’s when the toads start to cross, we do it in a car with a driver and a helper as the road is a mile long plus the toads are more visible in head lights.
We all wear fluorescent jackets and a sign in the back saying “toad patrol”.
We do it every night if the temperatures are right.
Most patrollers sign up for one night a week but only go if it’s 6 degrees upwards. I hope this information is useful!
Also all our patrollers are aware that the toads play a very important part of the Eco System!
Thank you very very much for your help in finding volunteers. Kind regards Teresa "


Members event: Spawn count survey

Sat 2nd February, 2019

Details will be posted on the members calendar. Will confirm whether Sat or Sun.  

Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Sunday Volunteer Task- Broxhead

Sun 3rd February, 2019

Scrub Clearance work task. Excellent chance to make life a little better for the herps emerging in sping.
Full details on the HIWARG Facebook group.


Amphibian & Reptile Conservation - Volunteer task: Heath Warren

Thu 7th February, 2019

Joint Scrub Clearance task on FC Heath Warren, near Eversley alongside the Forestry Commission, RSPB and Thames Basin Heaths Partnership. This site is of particular interest as it features a population, albeit non-native, of Pool Frogs.
Full details on the HIWARG Facebook group.


Herp Workers Meeting 2019

Sat 9th February, 2019 - Sun 10th February, 2019

Members event: Spawn count survey

Sat 16th February, 2019

Details will be posted on the members calendar. Will confirm whether Sat or Sun.  

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

Non-Native Species Identification sheets


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


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 


Health and Safety

Buddy System/Lone Working Procedures

pdfARG UK Generic Risk Assessment July2020


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. 


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