Cumbria ARG
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About us

About Us

Welcome to Cumbria Amphibian and Reptile Group! (CARG)

 

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.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 

From ARG UK

We have very worrying news from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (more commonly known as JNCC), the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation. Every 5 years they review the legislation protecting our native wildlife - the Quinquennial Review (QRR). We have learned that the current round seeks to remove all of our widespread species of amphibian and reptile from Schedules 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, through changing the Eligibility Criteria for these schedules so that only 'critically endangered' species are considered.

Please read and share the link - and write to your MP (Link to members of Parliament ) ( Letter to MP template)to protest about this move which would remove legal protections from our common frogs, toads, small newts, slow-worms, common lizards, grass snakes and adders!

Link to summary from ARG UK

 

Specifically:

  • There would no longer be a requirement to consider any of the widespread species (excepting Great Crested Newt) under planning protocols.
  • It would remove protection from killing or injury from our only native venomous snake - the adder - so it would no longer be a wildlife crime to persecute or kill them, which could be the final blow for an animal already on the brink
  • It would become legal to trade wild-caught British widespread amphibians and reptiles - which poses a huge biosecurity risk, since this could result in wild animals being moved around. We have already identified a significant threat to our native newts should Bsal enter wild populations in the UK (it is already present in captive collections), a disease that has led to >99% mortality in fire salamanders in The Netherlands and Belgium - for more on this please go to our Bsal web page. Other diseases include Ranavirus, Severe Perkinsea Infection (SPI), and snake fungal disease.
  • Removal from the following lists of priority species and habitats in England, Scotland, and Wales, from Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 (England), Section 7 of the Environment Act (Wales), Section 2(4) of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004

 

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As a group CARG offer the following opportunities                                                                                             

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

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

To become a member send an email request to

cumbria.arg@gmail.com

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.

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

Surveys

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

 

News

News

Summer Update

Posted on Wednesday 15th September, 2021

A busy and productive summer with events, surveys and records of amphibian and reptile sightings.

In June members visited Foulshaw moss. We explored different amphibian and reptile habitats and we got to see the different basking behaviours of Slow worms and Common lizards

FM slow wormsFM Common lizard

We also were invited to take part in Open Farm Sunday held at Susan's Farm Houghton Carlisle where we chatted to visitors about amphibians and reptiles, handed out information leaflets about what we do as a group and we also had games for people to partake in 

SF standSF pin tail

 

CARG also began supporting the Friends of the Lake District project "Dark Skies Cumbria" Click on link below to find out more about light impact on our amphibians 

Light pollutions impact on our native amphibians

 

We held a members day at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis - looking at their new reptile enclosures and their excellent conservation breeding programme for endangered frogs 

LWO pondLWO tadpole2

We have also been involved in the release of captive bred Sand lizards (captive bred in the county)

Sand lizards

We also had our yearly report published in  Birds and Wildlife in Cumbria 2020

This is available at Cumbria Bird Group to purchase 

Recordswildlife book

At the start of September we have started working with the community group Eden Wild Goose at St Pauls Church Holme Eden setting up surveys within their burial grounds and also mapping water bodies at Susan's Farm Houghton 

EWG survey 2EWG surveySF ponds

So a busy a summer and thank you to all involved !

We have lots to look forward too!

  • Committee meeting
  • Members meeting
  • New education school workshops
  • Calendar competition 
  • Planning next years surveys !

 


Season Update

Posted on Sunday 6th June, 2021

Finding Sanctuary Project

Well on the way is our Finding Sanctuary Project 

Members having been very busy setting up reptile surveys at their local burial grounds and small green spaces - with some fantastic results ! 

Records have included amphibians and reptiles- in particular Slow worms being present which fantastic news.

SW 1

Spot Light Surveys 

This last month has seen us incorporate spotlight surveys to the county. These pinpoint areas in which we have no records present currently. Members can access this through ARGWEB under the spot light button and check out the areas included (we will have a new one each month so covering different areas of the county). Non members can still see the location via our Facebook page and records can be uploaded as a casual record via the website records page and will be included. Currently the area spotlighted is just North east of Carlisle - this area includes Scaleby moss, which has a past history of Adders, Common lizards and amphibians.

Spotlight

So if you live close to the area check it out - we want your sightings!!!!!!

Volunteer Week 

The first week of June has been volunteer week celebrating our dedicated volunteers - committee members and signed up members all giving their time to learning, carrying out surveys and outreach of how fabulous our native amphibians and reptiles are :) We could not do the work we do without them.  

carg team

 

Summer Plans 

We have lots planned including formal and informal walks and talks, survey and training sessions - so keep an eye on this websites events, the Facebook page and emails for more information to come. 

pondGNC

If you would like to be more involved why not become a member - only £5 for the year and with this you will have access to events running across the summer.

Click here to email Cumbria ARG

   

 


Spring Update

Posted on Wednesday 7th April, 2021

Herp surveys are well on their way !!!!!

Toad Patrols News!

 A message from Matt our toad patrol coordinator 

Silverdale site: 22 different patrollers (between 2 and 7 out at a time) gave up a total of 32.25 hours of their time over 30 nights to help 329 frogs, 871 toads and 358 newts for a total of 1558 amphibians helped.

Stainton lane site: 3 different patrollers (between 1 and 2 out at a time) gave up a total of 35 hours of their time over 28 nights to help 16 frogs, 446 toads and 1 newt for a total of 463 amphibians helped.

if you've been out patrolling i'd love to hear your stats too

I've also managed to get out and visit 3 other sites this year including one that will hopefully be registered next year. and i've been told about a few more that will need checking out next year.

please remember to send your stats to Froglife and upload them to ARGweb (all sites have a section in the toad patrol area).

finally another reminder to fill out the freshwater habitats spawn survey if you see any spawn

so all that's left is for me to say a massive thank you to all of you for your hard work and dedication to helping our amphibian friends.

 

Cumbria Biodiversity Centre Conference 

A fantastic online conference bringing together numerous recording groups from across the county. We were involve in the conference giving updates on 2020 recording figures and events that had taken place and introduced a list of projects for the forth coming season.

Carlisle NATS talk 

A talk presented by Suzie Collinson on two current monitoring programmes - both looking at identifying individuals within Slow worm and Adder populations. A shorter version of the talk is available here NATS talk

ARG UK Seminars 

A brilliant range of seminars available from ARG UK click here for link to you tube channel including 

The role of reintroductions in rewilding

ARG uk Seminars

 

Adder Awareness

We have been able to help local reserves with Adder awareness on their sites with the handing out of informative posters Adder aware

Finding Sanctuary Project

Our Finding Sanctuary Project is up and running !!!!!

Volunteers exploring and surveying burial grounds and small green spaces local to them (fully supported)

For more information please head to the website tab Projects/Education 

Voluntary Survey Group

We now have a dedicated FB page for those members wishing to help with surveys 

CARG Survey group


Annual General Meeting Update 2021

Posted on Friday 12th March, 2021

If you would like to find out what we are all about and discover what we do as a group and see the exciting projects we have coming up for 2021 - click on the link to view our recorded meeting !

Annual General Meeting 2021

 

If you would like to view a presentation (slimmed down version) of the Carlisle Natural History Society Talk on Slow worms and Adder identification studies 

Presentation Carlisle NATS

 
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Education and Tutorials

Posted on Thursday 28th January, 2021

We have a fantastic selection of activities for school and home. All are available free of charge to download (On the Education and Tutorial page tab). Choose from  "Amazing Adders" and a selection of Amphibian related information and games !

This will be updated regularly with more fun activities and learning resources - so keep checking!

We would love to see the end product from these activities -so please share your creativity with us on our Facebook page ! Facebook page 

cumberland show 1

 

 
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Events

Events

Show Past Events

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ARGWEB Login

ARGWEB Login

 

 

 
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Toad Patrols/Disease

Toad Patrols/Disease

 

TOAD PATROLS

Toad patrols are for supporting amphibians and reptiles on their migration to their breeding ponds by helping them cross busy roads (by stopping them getting squashed!)

The patrols are supported by Froglife Toads on the roads but each site is managed individually and sites need to be registered with Froglife and all volunteers taking part need to be registered for insurance purposes 

Relevant documents are below and contact email address for Toad Coordinator Matt 

mail@wildlifeoasis.co.uk

pdfToad-Patrol-Pack-for-Managers.pdf

docTOADS-ON-ROADS-REGISTRATION-FORM_1.doc

pdfToad_patrol_Cumbria_sites_and_how_you_can_get_involved.pdf

odtPatroller_declaration_form.odt

 

 

 TP

 

BIOSECURITY 

Please find below important information for all outdoor workers or herp enthusiasts about biosecurity. 

An introduction to amphibian and reptiles biosecurity pdfBiosecurity_web_page.pdf

A disease guide for fieldworkers pdfAmphibian_Disease_Precautions_A_Guide_for_UK.pdf

A disease alert to protect wild amphibian and reptile species by reducing disease risk in captive amphibian and reptilespdfReducing_disease_risks.pdf

Disease profiles

pdfAmphibiocystidium.pdf

pdfChytridiomycosis.pdf

pdfRanavirus.pdf

pdfSnake_fungal_disease.pdf

pdfToad_fly_infestation.pdf

 

 

 

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Education/Projects

Education/Projects

"Finding Sanctuary" Project 

 

In many urban locations small green sites exist, this can include churchyards and burial grounds (allotments, golf courses, parks, commons and school grounds). These areas can represent some of the few remaining peaceful havens for wildlife and people in an increasingly busy world. Even in the countryside, much of our biodiversity has been lost to intensive agriculture and infrastructure development.

These locations may then also provide a welcome respite for many of our native creatures including birds, wildflowers, fungi and lichens, mammals and invertebrates. These areas are often overlooked and can be an important home for our native amphibians and reptiles, which are often residing in the damp corners that so often characterise old churchyards for example.

We often have reports of common frogs and toads, newts, slow-worms, common lizards, grass snakes, and in some exceptionally special places even our most vulnerable native snake, the adder.

However, many reports are anecdotal, and whilst many churchyards and subsequent green areas have a ‘wild area’, this is often simply left and little is done to map the wildlife using it, or to target habitat improvement for specific species.

This project aims to focus on our forgotten creatures, those that inhabit the forgotten areas.

Activities will be coordinated through our county-based network of volunteer amphibian and reptile groups (ARGs).

Cumbria ARG will work with its local diocese, and other faiths, and local communities to identify burial grounds and green spaces that may be of greatest importance to wildlife, based on their location, existing habitat or habitat connectivity, and the passion and interest of the local community

docxFinding_Sanctuary_Project_Pack.docx

CARG Survey group

Up to date COVID 19 Risk Assessment docARG_UK_Generic_Risk_Assessment_June_202128572.doc

An introduction to amphibians and reptiles on allotments pdfAllotments_leaflet.pdf

Some ID guides from ARC Trust and ARG UK:

Amphibian ID guide

Reptile ID guide

Church yard

 

 

Education Material for Schools and Parents

To record the species you see pdfRecord_Sheet.pdf      

Information posters 

A quick introduction to amphibian and reptiles for primary school children pdfPrimary_School_Amphibians_and_Reptiles_poster.pdf

Adders are Amazing Activities 

Practical activity pdf5_Food_chains_and_webs.pdf

Arts and crafts activity pdf7_Wind_snakes_activity.pdf

Practical activity pdf8_Adder_hunt_quiz_activity.pdf

Arts and crafts activity pdf9_Adder_stone_trails_activity.pdf

Arts and crafts activity pdf13_Adder_nightlights.pdf

Arts and crafts activity pdf15_Adder_amulets.pdf

Arts and crafts activity pdf17_Adder_bookmarks.pdf

Baking activity pdf18_Snake_snacks.pdf

English and literature activity pdf19_Adder_poetry_activity.pdf

Class work

Power point looking at differences between snakes and lizards (emphasis on Slow worms)    pptxReptile_school_talk_slow_worms.pptx

cumberland show 1school reptile talk

Frog and toads

Basic images showing frog metamorphosis pdfFrog_cycle.pdf

A frog mask template to decorate pdfFrog_mask_template.pdf

Detailed Information on Common frogs, Common toads and NatterjackspdfNative_frog_and_toad_posters.pdf

Mix and match game - matching the correct definitions to the correct speciespdfMix_and_Match_Game.pdf

A quick guide to spawn identification jpgSlide1.JPG

Toad patrol involvement for children and vulnerable people jpgToad_Patrols_for_Children_and_Vulnerable_people.JPG

Amphibian and Reptile Quiz

Identify the correct species by just their eyeball. A tricky but fun quiz! pdfEye_ID_quiz.pdf

Mix and match game - match the correct habitat to the correct species pdfHabitat_Mix_and_Match_.pdf

Note down the correct habitat or habitats for the species. Similar to the mix and match game but with pictures!pdfHabitat_Quiz.pdf

Reptile Activities

Arts and crafts activity pdfSnake_rock_poster_activity_.pdf

 

Video Tutorials 

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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Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.

Latest News


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