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!
We are available and qualified to give
Training days carried out by expert ecologists
Tailor made research expeditions in collaboration with Project Wild Gambia
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.
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
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
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
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
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
We held a members day at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis - looking at their new reptile enclosures and their excellent conservation breeding programme for endangered frogs
We have also been involved in the release of captive bred Sand lizards (captive bred in the county)
We also had our yearly report published in Birds and Wildlife in Cumbria 2020
This is available at Cumbria Bird Group to purchase
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
So a busy a summer and thank you to all involved !
We have lots to look forward too!
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.
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.
So if you live close to the area check it out - we want your sightings!!!!!!
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.
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.
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.
Herp surveys are well on their way !!!!!
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.
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.
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
A brilliant range of seminars available from ARG UK click here for link to you tube channel including
We have been able to help local reserves with Adder awareness on their sites with the handing out of informative posters
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
We now have a dedicated FB page for those members wishing to help with surveys
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 !
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
We would love to see the end product from these activities -so please share your creativity with us on our Facebook page ! Facebook page
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
An introduction to amphibian and reptiles biosecurity Biosecurity_web_page.pdf
A disease guide for fieldworkers Amphibian_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 reptilesReducing_disease_risks.pdf
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
Up to date COVID 19 Risk Assessment ARG_UK_Generic_Risk_Assessment_June_202128572.doc
An introduction to amphibians and reptiles on allotments Allotments_leaflet.pdf
Some ID guides from ARC Trust and ARG UK:
To record the species you see Record_Sheet.pdf
A quick introduction to amphibian and reptiles for primary school children Primary_School_Amphibians_and_Reptiles_poster.pdf
Adders are Amazing Activities
Practical activity 5_Food_chains_and_webs.pdf
Arts and crafts activity 7_Wind_snakes_activity.pdf
Practical activity 8_Adder_hunt_quiz_activity.pdf
Arts and crafts activity 9_Adder_stone_trails_activity.pdf
Arts and crafts activity 13_Adder_nightlights.pdf
Arts and crafts activity 15_Adder_amulets.pdf
Arts and crafts activity 17_Adder_bookmarks.pdf
Baking activity 18_Snake_snacks.pdf
English and literature activity 19_Adder_poetry_activity.pdf
Power point looking at differences between snakes and lizards (emphasis on Slow worms) Reptile_school_talk_slow_worms.pptx
Frog and toads
Basic images showing frog metamorphosis Frog_cycle.pdf
A frog mask template to decorate Frog_mask_template.pdf
Detailed Information on Common frogs, Common toads and NatterjacksNative_frog_and_toad_posters.pdf
Mix and match game - matching the correct definitions to the correct speciesMix_and_Match_Game.pdf
A quick guide to spawn identification Slide1.JPG
Toad patrol involvement for children and vulnerable people Toad_Patrols_for_Children_and_Vulnerable_people.JPG
Amphibian and Reptile Quiz
Identify the correct species by just their eyeball. A tricky but fun quiz! Eye_ID_quiz.pdf
Mix and match game - match the correct habitat to the correct species Habitat_Mix_and_Match_.pdf
Note down the correct habitat or habitats for the species. Similar to the mix and match game but with pictures!Habitat_Quiz.pdf
Arts and crafts activity Snake_rock_poster_activity_.pdf
How to record your sightings How to record your sightings
Membership Membership tutorial