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
The beginning of March saw the continuation of Toad Patrols in Cumbria- with very successful rescues carried out by Matt Carr (Coordinator for Cumbria Patrols) and his teams!
We have had lots of wonderful toad and frog posts on our Facebook page including excellent tadpole development footage from Wild Intrigue
We had our first AGM meeting at the beginning of March and it was wonderful to meet our members and to discuss plans for the forthcoming season - However due to the current Coronavirus events and surveys have sadly been cancelled until further notice.
Minutes from the meeting are available from firstname.lastname@example.org
We are nevertheless keeping our Facebook page updated with various online activities and training resources for all keen amphibian and reptile addicts!
We have received a few posts in regards to the emergence of Adders with negativity attached - we are hoping to still carry on with our plan of promoting a positive image of our Adders via the media in the upcoming weeks.
A good positive information post from ARG in response to negativity is - Adders are Amazing
For more information on Cumbria Toad Patrols
Become a Patrol Manager
Have information on a toad crossing
Matt Carr County Coordinator
A group of students from the Ambleside campus are holding a bake sale every two weeks to raise funds for much needed toad patrol equipment ! A big thank you to katherine and friends for all your hard work !
February 14th to the 16th saw CARG committee members attend this years Herpetofauna Workers Meeting in Southport
A fantastic and informative conference- networking with other ARG UK groups, Ecology consultancies, Researchers and University lecturers - partaking in practical workshops and listening to presentation talks.
Suzanne Collinson CARG (Chair) presented her work on slow worm ecology.
We took part in workshops that included "Managing habitats for conflicting species", "ARGWEB - fully integrated solution for ARG management from membership to stakeholders reports" and "Will the more strategic approach taken by District level Licensing projects help improve the conservation status of GCN"
The weekend also included a Gala Dinner with a raffle raising funds for the ARG UK 100% fund.
Cumbrian Common Toad (Thompson 2019)
At the beginning of November we were invited to Lakeland Wildlife Oasis at Milnthorpe.
The visit included a guided informative talk and tour from the reptile and amphibian staff Matt and Sarah (both CARG members)
We were shown a wide variety of herp species and gained knowlegde on their husbandry requirements, breeding projects and the benefits of the new enclosures installed
A fantastic day a a very big thank you to all the staff at the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis !
We welcomed new members to CARG and held a mid year year meeting discussing projects past, present and future
This week we were in invited to give a talk at the University of Cumbria - Introducing the group, what with have been up to this year, what we have planned and how students can get involved with voluntary work.
Cumbria_Amphibian_and_Reptile_Group.pdf (Presentation slides)
Suzanne Collinson also gave and informative talk to the audience in regards to her dissertation work "Using Identification of Slow Worms (Anguis fragilis) to Investigate Refugia Fidelity"
Zoo_society_talk.pdf (Presentation slides)
https://www.spreaker.com/episode/19618411 Part 1 (Recording of talk to assist slides)
https://www.spreaker.com/episode/19625619 Part 2 (Recording of talk to assist slides)
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