Cumbria ARG
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About Us

Welcome to Cumbria Amphibian and Reptile Group! (CARG)


Dear all - with the pace of change of COVID-19 restrictions, rather than give out-dated advice we have updated our permanent web page with links to individual country advice - and included COVID-19 on our standard risk assessment.


Risk Assessment

As a volunteer run group our aims are to promote the conservation of our native reptiles and amphibians here in Cumbria. Improving the knowledge of the distribution of our native species, educate and increase awareness via surveys and practical conservation.

We are looking for members that would be interested in getting involved in local conservation and receiving training, surveying, attending talks and sharing knowledge and experiences.

As a group, we offer -                                                                                              

We are available and qualified to give

  • ·School talks
  • ·Group presentations
  • ·Field trips

Training days carried out by expert ecologists

  • ·Identification skills
  • ·Species ecology
  • ·Methods of surveying
  • ·To help monitor our native amphibians and reptiles (non-licensed species only)

Social events

  • ·Walks and talks
  • ·Conferences
  • ·Presentations
  • ·Public events
  • ·Fundraising

Tailor made research expeditions in collaboration with Project Wild Gambia

As a member, you can be involved in -

Toad Patrols

Become a patrol manager of a registered road or a patroller to help to assist in helping our native common toad to their breeding ponds


Contribute to the collection of data - building a picture of reptile and amphibian distribution within our county

Habitat Management

Practical ground management improving the quality of amphibian and reptile habitats

ARGWEB Management Software

Managing membership/ managing survey direction and reporting/sharing data info to land managers, owners, stakeholders

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New Year Update

Posted on Sunday 17th January, 2021

Herpy New Year !


So to start with a very big thank you to all of those that were involved in the CARG Calender competition

To Ashleigh (CARG outreach) for putting the project together ! 

To all the members for their entries, absolutely amazing images !

To  the ARG UK trustees for the very difficult job of choosing the winners !

and last but not least to those that purchased a calender  - the funds will be used for much needed survey equipment for the forthcoming season.


There is still the opportunity to buy one of these fabulous calenders 

CARG online shop


ARG UK position on reintroductions


ARG UK celebrates those who are passionate about conserving our native reptile & amphibian species. We support reintroductions as a last resort (following relevant legislation & guidance) to restore the former range of species still present or return of an extinct species to its historic native range, such as northern pool frogs.

For ARG UK's full detailed position statement concerning reintroductions, please visit:

A link to ARG UK's Advice Note 12 on Reintroductions is also available there ( as well as a link to a talk from our Autumn Seminar Series on understanding and managing amphibian diseases (


Spawn Surveys 

The Fresh water Habitats Trust have launched their annual spawn survey - If you have spotted spawn in your pond or while out exercising (please stay safe and stick to government guidelines) let them know! Go to



Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Natterjack Volunteers Required 


ARC coordinate the national monitoring scheme for natterjack toads across the UK. We are currently looking for volunteer recorders in Cumbria to join our team. Find out more:




Hi Everyone. I'm starting to get my head around toad patrols for this year. if you've never heard of toad patrols its basically supporting amphibians on their migration to their breeding ponds by helping them cross busy roads (i.e. stopping them from getting squashed!). the patrols are coordinated across the country by Frog Life (more info here: but each site/crossing is managed individually. the sites need to be registered with Frog Life and all volunteers taking part also need to be registered (for insurance). i have attached the pack produced by Frog Life that has all the info in as well as the volunteer form

I manage two sites, one in South Cumbria and the other just over the border in North Lancashire. managing the sites basically involves coordinating volunteers to make sure as much as possible there is someone out patrolling when the amphibians are moving.

There are a number of patrol sites around Cumbria (these can be found following the link above) but its also possible to get new sites registered. i am in the process of contacting West Cumbria Rivers Trust who manage a couple of sites as well as the managers of the other Cumbria sites. my aim is to have a network set up so we can support each other with advertising for volunteers and with letting each other know when the migration has started

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the patrols (how they work, what you need to do etc), would like to help with mine (yes please!) or has a site in mind that may need one i am more then happy for you to msg me or email me:

I will be posting more info on the Fb page  as and when i get it including letting you all know when the migration starts

Many Thanks Matt 


GAMBIA August 2021

We had our first zoom meeting with Project Wild Gambia finding out what they can offer us as a group herp wise in the amazing country of The Gambia !

Previous projects can be found via this link Amphibian and Reptile Research

More info can be found on the dedicated FB page in which further zoom meetings will be advertised, there is also a recording of our first meeting if you wish to watch ! 

Below is an image I (Suzie) took while in The Gambia of a beautiful Green mamba ! 

P1050171 2 


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2021 CARG calendar

Posted on Monday 30th November, 2020

It’s finally here! What we have all been waiting for, the 2021 CARG calendar. I have attached some images of the finalised calendar to get an idea of what it will look like.

Again, a massive thank you to all that submitted photos and to ARG UK for judging the competition. It was a tough one!

There are varying sizes available to buy including A5 (£8), A4 (£10) and A3 (£15). Profits made from sales go directly to CARG to support us in education outreach and survey equipment. Just click the link below!

Photos used in this calendar have been taken with non-disturbance photography. Any photos you may see showing handling have been taken during surveys for identifying purposes.


Calendar Competition

Posted on Thursday 29th October, 2020

COMPETITION TIME! We need you to send us your most fantastic photos of our native UK herps. The winning 12 photos will be used in our very own special 2021 CARG calendar. The winner of our overall favourite will not only have their photo on the front of the calendar, but they will receive one as their prize! All photos used will be referenced. The calendars will be available to purchase after the competition has ended on the 14th November.

Submit your photos to for a chance to win your spot in the calendar! Good luck 😊Competition post

Summer Update

Posted on Tuesday 27th October, 2020


Hope everyone is keeping well and safe !

Well it hasn't been the survey season we were preparing for or expecting - we had lots of great activities planned for members during the summer months. 

However, the facebook page has been a great way to keep things ticking over with training courses, quizzes, on line seminars and information for followers.

Link to seminars and training courses 

ARG seminars

Training courses

Lots of interesting outreach fundraising/activities/training and surveys are currently being prepared -  Group calendar, Toad patrols, Natterjack monitoring, Burial ground surveys, Education visits, Field trips, Corporate training - so keep checking here and on our FB page for updates.

We are always looking for people to become more involved by becoming a member and joining these fantastic activities helping to conserve our native amphibians and reptiles.


Posted on Sunday 31st May, 2020


Please follow this link - in which a risk assessment specific to COVID 19 is available and the current best practice advice from CIEEM for its members, which sets out sensible precautions which ARG volunteers may wish to adopt when surveying 




Show Past Events

Herpetofauna Workers Meeting

Sat 6th February, 2021 - Sun 7th February, 2021



Amphibian and Reptile Conservation


Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK - ARG UK

Herpetofauna Workers Meeting 2021 will be held virtually for the first time on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 February. Book your tickets today via



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ARG UK Annual General Meeting 2021

Thu 18th February, 2021

Please join us for our ARG UK 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 7:15 pm on Thursday 18th February. This year we will be on-line with Zoom to comply with COVID-19 restrictions but, as ever, all affiliated ARGS and their members are very welcome.

In addition to the usual AGM business – notably an update on the ARG network, financial review and election/re-election of trustees, we will also be hearing from some of our ARGs and other friends about what they have been getting up to in 2020. We are looking forward to hearing news and updates from right across the UK and the Republic of 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.

With huge thanks to:

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation,Garfield Weston Foundation National Lottery Heritage Fund Northern Ireland

Habitat Aid

, The Banister Charitable Trust, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Radius Systems and 6yr old Sam for their continued and kind support throughout 2020.


To sign up follow the link to Eventbrite:


ARG UK 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) - with ARG updates


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CARG Annual General Meeting (provisional)

Thu 25th February, 2021

All committee and members welcome - Re election of committee and election. A look at what we have been doing and a positive look forward to what we can achieve in 2021 ! 

Emails with meeting link will be sent as soon as date and time is confirmed.  

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Presentation on Slow worm (Anguis fragilis) Conservation for Carlisle Natural History Society

Wed 3rd March, 2021

Suzie Collinson ‘How recording and investigating small populations of Amphibians and Reptiles can benefit larger conservation efforts.’

A talk for Carlisle Natural History Society members - To become a member of Carlisle NATS follow this link (current fees are reduced)



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CARG Expedition

Sun 1st August, 2021

Happy New Year Everyone !

To start the New Year off we have a fantastic opportunity as a group to head further a field in August 2021 to the amazing country The Gambia. This expedition is through Project Wild Gambia and is to carry out herp related conservation work. 

To keep updated please join our dedicated Facebook page CARG Expedition where progression and relevant zoom meeting events for the trip will be posted.snake photo 

Relevant websites for more information

Project Wild Gambia

Smile for Life

Gunjur Project







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Become a Member

Become a Member

The annual membership fee is £5  (free for under 16's and students).

To become a member send an email request to 


Bank transfer details will be forwarded to you. 

You will receive a welcome email and login details to ARGWEB - in which the appropriate membership forms and voluntary forms will be required to be filled in for your membership.

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How to record your sightings  How to record your sightings

Membership Membership tutorial

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Contact us

Contact Us



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01931 714 128


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