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.

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

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

To become a member send an email request to

secretary.carg@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

July to September Brief Summary

Posted on Sunday 8th January, 2023

Surveys 

The last 6 months has seen a continuation of several surveys carried out by members across the county. These have included adder, common lizard, frogs and toads in many different settings including reserves, burial grounds and parks !

We have also had one off sightings uploaded in some new areas such as grass snakes in peoples gardens and adders close to the M6 motorway services !

Remember to upload your sightings to record pool or i record.

Outreach 

Talkin Tarn Festival of Nature 

A brilliant day of activities and information - with pinning the tail on the common lizard being a firm favorite !

288997023 10159688183907324 8629574397144465910 n

 

 

Summer Social

A joint event for members from CARG and the Cumberland Bat Group. 

Camping, food, quizzes, including a bat and amphibian walk.

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Keswick Natural History Society

Suzie and Ashleigh presented natterjack, slow worm and adder research.

 

316038346 661612125568050 2237464343505553105 n

Walks and Talks

Members visited Wedholme reserve near Wigton. Amphibians were spotted on the raised bog and definitely worth a revisit to see if any adders or common lizards are present.

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Awards

Congratulations to Matt and Marie for their Newt Year honours award for dedication to toad patrols and volunteers in south Cumbria - well deserved !

318789785 495812239060273 6576216455519090778 n319678794 526115619447940 4524014652675182403 n

 


January to July Summary

Posted on Friday 8th July, 2022

Hello Everyone !

It has been a while since the news has been updated - my apologises!

Toad patrols

As a group we have been very busy starting in January and February with toad patrols up and down the county. Extremely important this year as COVID restrictions were lifted more vehicles were on the roads  ! 

Toad patrol Coordinator Matt Carr has compiled the following document with data for the last 3 years 

pdfSilverdale_and_Stainton_lane_toad_patrol_stats_2019_to_202274590.pdf

Outreach

An ongoing activity for the group - With articles on newts in Eden FM magazine  Eden Local Jan 22  and records and information forwarded on for entry in to the up coming publication of Birds and Wildlife in Cumbria.

Our Annual General Meeting (on line) was well attended in March. Topics of discussion included activities members would like with training in species identification, ecology and survey techniques being requested the most. Members do have the online tutorials at their disposal for more information please email us at cumbria.arg@gmail.com

We were honoured to be voted as a Nature Hero. Run by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust celebrating their 60 years of work. We were nominate for our voluntary work and contribution to Cumbrian wildlife and habitats - Read More Here 

The Cumbrian Biodiversity Data Centre Recorders Conference was well attended and CARG presented an update of surveys and records for the county. A copy of the presentation slides can be located following this link. CARG CBDC Conference

The beginning of June we joined with the Cumberland Bat Group and took part in Open Farm Sunday at Susan's Farm Houghton and the AONB Festival of Nature at Talkin Tarn - Both fantastic events in which children enjoyed craft activities and asking a lot of interesting questions ! A big thank you to our volunteers Lesley, Jude and David for all of their hard work !

CARG played a small part in the new Tullie House Exhibition "Once Upon a Planet " with adder ecology advice and CARG chair Suzie speaking about how others can help against Climate change.  The exhibition is now open to view Once Upon a Planet

 

 

Surveys and Training 

We have a continuation of surveys in our prime adder locations, Cliburn moss common lizard count, Finding Sanctuary surveys in Ambleside, Kirkbampton and Cartmell.

On line training modules are available for members and practical sessions to complement this are also run at regular intervals. 

One of our members very kindly offered her amazing ponds for an amphibian practical session. CARG  member Libby ran the session and all attendees are now equipped with the knowledge and experience to carry out a basic pond torch survey. (non licensed)..

Habitat Work

A group of CARG volunteers carried out pond work (removal of reeds) a community pond near Great Salkeld Penrith, hibernaculum's were also created for the range of amphibians living there to access.  

Our pond at St Pauls Church Holme Eden is coming on a treat with froglets now making their terrestrial journey in life  !

Fundraising

A big big thank you to all that entered our annual calendar competition, judges from ARG UK and Ashleigh for all her hard work pulling it together. We raised an amazing £164.17 for our funds which has gone towards the purchase of amphibian survey equipment for our volunteers. 

We will be running this again so keep taking your (non disturbance) images !!!

 

Upcoming Events 

Events upcoming include walks and talks at Foulshaw and a partial walk of the Ullswater Way (dates to be confirmed)

A joint social event with the Cumberland Bat Group. Camping, pond dipping and a bat walk and refreshments will be available for committee and members to get together (provisional date first weekend in September).

 

To record your sightings follow the To Record a Sighting  tab on our Website !

 


End of Year Update

Posted on Tuesday 28th December, 2021

Our final update before 2022 !

The last few months have been a hive of activity for the group with end of season surveys, habitat maintenance and creation, our annual calendar competition and this year we added Christmas cards to our online shop with equal success.

Networking 

As a group we have been very fortunate in working with some local groups:

Susan's Farm Houghton 

A working Care Farm two miles from Carlisle providing opportunities for learning and practical work experience.  A registered charity whose 

VISION is that people’s lives are transformed by working together in purposeful outdoor activity so they can reach their full potential. Click for more information Susan's Farm

Members visited and carried out habitat suitability index on several waterbodies across two areas which are in trust of Susan's Farm. During the visit Common frog and toad at different life stages were recorded. Members carried out some pond clearance at a later date and created hibernaculum's for amphibians. 

SF 1SF 2

St. Pauls Church 

Eden Wild Goose Nature Wildlife Pond

at St Paul's Holme Eden

December 2021 In partnership with The Cumbrian Amphibian and Reptile Group and The COOP Local Community Fund.

Eden Wild Goose Nature invited the Cumbria Amphibian and Reptile Group CARG to set up and run a survey in the grounds of St Paul’s Holme Eden church near Carlisle (CA4 8RF). Members of the local community were taught how to identify frogs, toads, newts and snakes. Following this, a six-week survey was managed by two members of the Eden Wild Goose initiative with the result that a frog and a toad were discovered in the private woodlands. In response EWG Nature decided to dig a small wildlife pond near where the amphibians were seen to work with nature and support biodiversity. The new pond was designed by CARG ready for the work to begin.

In early December 2021 a small team of four from CARG, two from Eden Wild Goose Nature and the local Member Pioneer from the COOP teamed up to complete phase 1 of the project. An area of 3mx3m was cleared to prepare for a pond liner to be set in the ground.

The funding for the project came from COOP Local Community Fund.

Thanks to all… from the amphibians and all the other water loving pondlife.

Graeme Skinner 

PC 1PC 2

For the above projects funding was gratefully received from the ARG UK 100% fund, this was to purchase equipment (refugia, PPE, ground tools) 

 

EPAS Environmental Protection and Appreciation Society (University of Cumbria Ambleside)

CARG visited students at the Ambleside campus, where we gave a presentation on local native amphibians and reptiles, an insight in to what we do as a group and how volunteering can benefit the conservation students studies. A fun informative talk with games !

Uni 1 

Calendar and cards

Our annual calendar competition was well received with many entries ! A big thank you ARG UK trustees for judging the winning images (not an easy task!)  

This year we also had Christmas cards for sale raising funds for ARG UK. A one off illustration in pen and watercolour from Suzies Artwork 

A further update will be announced on funds raised in due course 

And.....

there is still time to purchase via this link which takes you to our online shop CARG Online Shop

calendarHop

 

 Ashleigh Toomey's (CARG Education Outreach) Dissertation presentation

Well done to Ashleigh on the presenting of her dissertation work on Natterjack toads !

Ash

Coming up in 2022

A brief outline of what we have planned for the start of  2022

January /February

Online courses - Identification, ecology, survey techniques for amphibians and reptiles, ARGWEB 

Online conferences - Herpetofauna Workers Meeting - Winter Symposium.  Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre Conference

Toad patrol information and patrols starting 

March

Practical training for members undertaking online courses 

Surveys start !

Numerous surveys in the following areas 

Ambleside/Windermere/Carlisle/Penrith/Kirkbride/Scottish Borders   

More information for members on the surveys available nearer the time 

Annual General Meeting CARG AGM date and venue to be confirmed 

So a lot of varied projects to get involved with and if you would like to become a member or if you would like more information about the group

Please email cumbria.arg@gmail.com 

 

All the best to our members and followers for the New Year

Best wishes

Suzie Collinson 

CARG Chairperson

ARG UK Trustee 

 

 

 


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

   

 


Events

Events

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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 

Contact details for our South Cumbria patrols: Email address for Toad Coordinator Matt sandstoadpatrols@gmail.com

Contact details for Appleby patrol: Email address for Toad coordinator Suzie cumbria.arg@gmail.com

Contact for Ambleside patrol: Email address for Toad coordinator Ashleighedoutreach.cumbria.arg@gmail.com

 

 

 

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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

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 pdfARG_UK_Spawn_ID_.pdf

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

 

ID guides from ARC Trust and ARG UK:

Amphibian ID guide

Reptile ID guide

 

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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Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.

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