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 



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



Amphibian Survey Training

Posted on Sunday 4th April, 2021

If you are interested in amphibian survey training in April, email info@hiwarg.org.uk and we will get back to you.

Training is limited to members only, but this is only £6 a year so a real bargain for what you can get out of your membership.

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



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

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 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 



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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