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 




Making the Natter Matter. October 2019 (Full version emailed to members)

Posted on Thursday 17th October, 2019

Edited by Sheila Dyason
Sorry for the long delay in sending out our latest newsletter. The survey season has been very busy with more than 40 survey transects now in place, so there is no excuse for not being able to survey a site near to you!

In April my daughter Cathy and I went to Millom, Cumbria to learn about surveying for Natterjack Toads. The course was run by ARC’s Yvette Martin and Ruth Popely. It was a fantastic and very enjoyable experience. We spent the afternoon indoors learning about Natterjack ecology, conservation and the law. Ruth had collected some toads so we could see them close-up...... (Subscribe to see more)

Meanwhile in Hampshire, Graeme Davis found these lizards near Brockenhurst and Pete West found this lovely Grass Snake at Fleet Pond...... (Subscribe to see more)

Pete West found a few Palmate Newts in a series of ponds on a local Hampshire Heath. He thinks it is amazing how any larva survive...... (Subscribe to see more)

......the Vanishing Viper conference was a really fantastic experience with some very interesting perspectives from European colleagues. It was great to catch up with so many people dedicated to finding solutions. (Subscribe to see more)

Gillian Pullinger took some photos from the Bioblitz event at Basing Wood. HIWARG had their stand there, showing the animals to members of the public and raising funds with exciting items for sale, and also helped with walks and pond-dipping activities.... (Subscribe to see more)

In September the saga of Wally the turtle began.  Pete West tells the story....Apparently, the Egret became very interested in some ripples close to the water’s edge. As the ripples came closer to the shore my brother could see a small shape above the water and a creature emerged showing itself to be a turtle or terrapin.... (Subscribe to see more)

HIWARG members have attended village fetes and shows over the summer to give members of the public the opportunity to see herps close-up and to learn about their conservation needs. It is hoped that next year more members will volunteer to participate with these events.

Jon Cranfield gave a talk on American Bullfrogs and African Clawed Toads at the Invasive Non-native Species Workshop at Brockenhurst. It was a very good talk and well-received.

Adders on the brink – Britain’s Vanishing Viper - Josh Phangurha
It’s hard to describe in words the concoction of thoughts and feelings that adders resonate through me. Their admirable ability to emerge on chilly days in February (or sometimes earlier), even if there is snow on the ground and temperatures are near 0°C,  give a true sense of extraordinary hardiness in the ectothermic animal kingdom. Their exquisite markings rival the intricacy of any British bird or butterfly, which is especially evident in the males who can boast bright silvery colouration with a highly contrasting, dorsal black zigzag that runs along the length of the body. As if that wasn’t dashing enough, their eyes are a piercing crimson red, giving them a somewhat falsely menacing appearance..... (Subscribe to see more)

Future events
* HIWARG Social and AGM Saturday November 23rd 1 – 4 pm at Twyford Village Hall
Please join us for the HIWARG 2019 Year-end social. TICKET BOOKINGS:

The afternoon is certain to be a special networking event providing an update on the last year's activities as well as details on our plans for the 2020 season. Tea, coffee & cakes will be provided.
We also have special speakers presenting on some unusual & interesting topics:
- Steve Allain on his Midwife Toad Project
- Josh Phangurha on his trip to Mexico and encouraging new HIWARG members

Attendance is free, but we do ask that you register in order for us to plan & cater appropriately.
Ticket numbers are limited so please be sure to book your ticket soon via Eventbrite.

Habitat Management
Herp habitat management with a range of land managers at various sites. For more details see https://www.facebook.com/groups/455730808110700/ 

As always, our core communication methods remains via the HIWARG Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/455730808110700/ ) & the HIWARG website. I encourage you if you have not yet done so to please bookmark & visit both for the latest news & events information.

And if you have not yet don’t so, please subscribe to HIWARG as a member via this website. Your subscription donation helps us acquire much needed equipment for use during our planned activities and will help to broaden the range of activities & events we can offer.

Making the Natter Matter March 2019

Posted on Monday 18th March, 2019

Latest newsletter has been emailed to subscribed HIWARG members.

Wetter weather brings more toads to the roads.

Posted on Thursday 28th February, 2019

Toad patrols are currently in full swing. The recent warm weather has woken the herps earlier than usual and the wet weather has many of them heading towards their breeding ponds, putting toads & newts in harms way as they try to cross busy roads during peak traffic periods.
There are many toad patrols looking for additional volunteers.
Currently we have people active in the New Forest, Eastleigh & Basingstoke areas.

Please see our Facebook group for more details.

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Getting the media onboard

Posted on Thursday 28th February, 2019



Today's blog by Mark Avery (RSPB’s Conservation Director -Ret)

Posted on Tuesday 26th February, 2019
Paul Sterry discusses the challenges related to the Cufaude Lane Toad Crossing at which some of us have been assisting.
HIWARG is trying to support the efforts at this crossing so if anyone is available, please reach out.
Some evenings are obviously busier than others, but every person that helps at a toad crossing, raises awareness about toad crossings or otherwise aids towards the improvement of infrastructure to assist the toads to cross is playing a significant part so please spread the word and share the attached blog. 

Read blog here



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


Click on the logo below to go to the Paypal subscription page
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 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

10A            11A     

Herp Identification - downloadable colour charts

Amphibian Identification - downloadable colour cards 

Newt Eggs & Larvae - downloadable colour cards  

Reptile Identification - downloadable colour cards   

Dogs & Adders - downloadable advice sheet.   

Improving Herp habitat

Creating Garden Ponds - downloadable booklet   

Herp diseases - recognise & report

Snake Fungal Disease  

Toad fly (Lucilia bufonivora)   

Amphibian Chytridiomycosis  

Ranavirus Disease  

Reptile Slough Genebank - collection & submission of found sloughs  



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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