Cumbria ARG
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About us

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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Mapping Cumbrian Amphibians and Reptiles

Posted on Thursday 26th September, 2019

Over the past couple of months University of Cumbria student Katherine Monaghan (Animal Conservation Science BSc (hons) student) has been working hard on creating a comprehensive map of cumbrian herpetofauna for CARG.

This will help us as a group plan more surveys in the future and we can see if numbers are increasing or decreasing. Putting in to plan conservation measures to maintain or encourage numbers.

Katherine has a passion for Anuran (tailless amphibians - frogs and toads) and is currently helping to collect data for the following PhD study - follow link for more information: 

Scientists are urging the public to help them investigate why the population of toads in the UK is declining.

Katherines is also currently undertaking her dissertation subject titled  "How Temporal and Spatial Factors affect South African Anuran Bioacoustics"

Thank you for all your hard work katherine and keep us up to date with your research !

REMEMBER TO RECORD YOUR SIGHTING - This can be done directly through this web site or you can send records to ourselves at and we will enter the data for you

We cannot make a difference across the county - unless people record their findings !

August/September 2019

Posted on Thursday 26th September, 2019

The weather put a lot of organised events on hold sadly during August, however volunteers have been busy behind the scenes, with the collaboration of data from surveys undertaken, building a data base for the county and planning training and events for next year.

A presentation is planned for October to introduce the new University of Cumbria Zoology students to slow worms and Cumbria ARG opportunities and our end of season meeting at Lakeland wildlife Oasis will be at the beginning of November (date and time to be confirmed).

Three of the committee members enjoyed a wee holiday on the Isle of Mull in September with various aves and mammals observed. A small group of Common toads living in the cottage garden were the only amphibian or reptiles observed!

Toad Mull

Coming up......

Posted on Wednesday 31st July, 2019

Volunteers wanted

With Cumbria being a large county we are looking for volunteers to help create sub groups in the south, west and central areas.

A least one day a month commitment to help run toad patrols in the new year and surveys next spring.

If this interests you please email 

Watchtree basic survey day

During August (date to be confirmed) we are holding a training day on basic reptile - common lizard / amphibian- frog and toad survey techniques. This is for members only and will include an introduction to the species, how to plan and carry out a survey. Refugia will be placed across the reserve and a continuation of monitoring will take place early next year.

Data collection

A conservation student from The University of Cumbria is currently compiling a reptile and amphibian data map for Cumbria which will help us progress with surveys in the future.

Lakeland Wildlife Oasis Event

Towards the end of September and to mark the end of summer surveying "Lakeland Wildlife Oasis" are inviting us to a exclusive tour of their park (wildlife park group fee applies). However, anyone that attends this event will receive a planned second event early next year (free of charge) this will be to visit their new reptile enclosures and conservation breeding programmes.





June/July 2019

Posted on Wednesday 31st July, 2019

A busy couple of months with the continuation of survey work at Natural England sites Cliburn moss and Finglandrigg.

Please email if you are interested in helping monitor Common lizards at Cliburn moss.

clib suzie frogfing guy adder


In June as part of the University of Cumbria outreach team, Suzanne introduced locals to some exotics -Royal python, Corn snake and Gecko at the Cumberland Show and chatted about native reptiles and amphibians which can be found in Cumbria as well

cumberland show 1.


In July a presentation was given to Dalston parish council detailing the dissertation work carried out by Suzanne Collinson on the local slow worm population which resides in the village. This included information on how identifying individual slow worms helps give a more accurate population count and it enables the monitoring of movement across the site.

pres parish

A continuation of this was also spending a day at the local primary school introducing reptiles, habitats and conservation to the children.

sch pressch pres 2


Also members of the Cumbria amphibian and reptile Facebook group were invited to a informative talk by Foulshaw moss reserve manager Paul Waterhouse on the amphibian and reptile species that can be found at the Cumbria wildlife trust site in south Cumbria. 

foulshawfoulshaw 2foulshaw 1



MAY 2019

Posted on Friday 14th June, 2019

Project updates

Cliburn Moss

An excellent productive day, welcoming new members to Cumbria ARG.

An introduction to reptile ecology and survey techniques.

Recording 3 adult Common lizards, adult and juvenile frogs and toads.

cm liz survey 1

This is an on going regular survey for Natural England - if you would like to be involved please get in touch via !


Monitoring of Adders has taken place on a regular basis by a dedicated team of volunteers.

Refugia is checked for Adder presence.

Where possible and with as little disturbance as possible, photographs have been taken via a long lensed camera, these images are to build a data base of individuals at the site.


A wildlife camera has been set up to record individuals and behaviour with some excellent results (available on our Facebook page -






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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