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
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will enter the data for you
We cannot make a difference across the county - unless people record their findings !
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!
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
A busy couple of months with the continuation of survey work at Natural England sites Cliburn moss and Finglandrigg.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping monitor Common lizards at Cliburn moss.
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
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.
A continuation of this was also spending a day at the local primary school introducing reptiles, habitats and conservation to the children.
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.
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.
This is an on going regular survey for Natural England - if you would like to be involved please get in touch via email@example.com !
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 - https://www.facebook.com/groups/589703024785031/chats/)
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