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.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 

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!

Link to summary from ARG UK

 

Specifically:

  • There would no longer be a requirement to consider any of the widespread species (excepting Great Crested Newt) under planning protocols.
  • It would remove protection from killing or injury from our only native venomous snake - the adder - so it would no longer be a wildlife crime to persecute or kill them, which could be the final blow for an animal already on the brink
  • It would become legal to trade wild-caught British widespread amphibians and reptiles - which poses a huge biosecurity risk, since this could result in wild animals being moved around. We have already identified a significant threat to our native newts should Bsal enter wild populations in the UK (it is already present in captive collections), a disease that has led to >99% mortality in fire salamanders in The Netherlands and Belgium - for more on this please go to our Bsal web page. Other diseases include Ranavirus, Severe Perkinsea Infection (SPI), and snake fungal disease.
  • Removal from the following lists of priority species and habitats in England, Scotland, and Wales, from Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 (England), Section 7 of the Environment Act (Wales), Section 2(4) of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004

 

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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

Tailor made research expeditions in collaboration with Project Wild Gambia

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

To become a member send an email request to

cumbria.arg@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

New Year Update

Posted on Sunday 17th January, 2021

Herpy New Year !

Calender

So to start with a very big thank you to all of those that were involved in the CARG Calender competition

To Ashleigh (CARG outreach) for putting the project together ! 

To all the members for their entries, absolutely amazing images !

To  the ARG UK trustees for the very difficult job of choosing the winners !

and last but not least to those that purchased a calender  - the funds will be used for much needed survey equipment for the forthcoming season.

calender

There is still the opportunity to buy one of these fabulous calenders 

CARG online shop

 

ARG UK position on reintroductions

ARG UK POLICY STATEMENT CONCERNING REINTRODUCTIONS

ARG UK celebrates those who are passionate about conserving our native reptile & amphibian species. We support reintroductions as a last resort (following relevant legislation & guidance) to restore the former range of species still present or return of an extinct species to its historic native range, such as northern pool frogs.

For ARG UK's full detailed position statement concerning reintroductions, please visit: https://www.arguk.org/.../arg-uk-policy-statement...

A link to ARG UK's Advice Note 12 on Reintroductions is also available there (https://www.arguk.org/.../amphibian-and-reptile...) as well as a link to a talk from our Autumn Seminar Series on understanding and managing amphibian diseases (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jjlIRHmuIg&feature=youtu.be)

 

Spawn Surveys 

The Fresh water Habitats Trust have launched their annual spawn survey - If you have spotted spawn in your pond or while out exercising (please stay safe and stick to government guidelines) let them know! Go to http://bit.ly/SpawnSurvey2021

 

 

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Natterjack Volunteers Required 

CALL FOR CUMBRIA NATTERJACK TOAD RECORDERS! 🐸

ARC coordinate the national monitoring scheme for natterjack toads across the UK. We are currently looking for volunteer recorders in Cumbria to join our team. Find out more: www.arc-trust.org/call-for-cumbria-natterjack-toad-recorders

 

 

TOAD PATROLS

Hi Everyone. I'm starting to get my head around toad patrols for this year. if you've never heard of toad patrols its basically supporting amphibians on their migration to their breeding ponds by helping them cross busy roads (i.e. stopping them from getting squashed!). the patrols are coordinated across the country by Frog Life (more info here: https://www.froglife.org/what-we-do/toads-on-roads) but each site/crossing is managed individually. the sites need to be registered with Frog Life and all volunteers taking part also need to be registered (for insurance). i have attached the pack produced by Frog Life that has all the info in as well as the volunteer form

I manage two sites, one in South Cumbria and the other just over the border in North Lancashire. managing the sites basically involves coordinating volunteers to make sure as much as possible there is someone out patrolling when the amphibians are moving.

There are a number of patrol sites around Cumbria (these can be found following the link above) but its also possible to get new sites registered. i am in the process of contacting West Cumbria Rivers Trust who manage a couple of sites as well as the managers of the other Cumbria sites. my aim is to have a network set up so we can support each other with advertising for volunteers and with letting each other know when the migration has started

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the patrols (how they work, what you need to do etc), would like to help with mine (yes please!) or has a site in mind that may need one i am more then happy for you to msg me or email me: mail@wildlifeoasis.co.uk

I will be posting more info on the Fb page  as and when i get it including letting you all know when the migration starts

Many Thanks Matt 

 

GAMBIA August 2021

We had our first zoom meeting with Project Wild Gambia finding out what they can offer us as a group herp wise in the amazing country of The Gambia !

Previous projects can be found via this link Amphibian and Reptile Research

More info can be found on the dedicated FB page https://www.facebook.com/groups/740700883063664 in which further zoom meetings will be advertised, there is also a recording of our first meeting if you wish to watch ! 

Below is an image I (Suzie) took while in The Gambia of a beautiful Green mamba ! 

P1050171 2 

 

 
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2021 CARG calendar

Posted on Monday 30th November, 2020

It’s finally here! What we have all been waiting for, the 2021 CARG calendar. I have attached some images of the finalised calendar to get an idea of what it will look like.

Again, a massive thank you to all that submitted photos and to ARG UK for judging the competition. It was a tough one!

There are varying sizes available to buy including A5 (£8), A4 (£10) and A3 (£15). Profits made from sales go directly to CARG to support us in education outreach and survey equipment. Just click the link below!

https://www.fluidic.co.uk/c/6083/cumbria-amphibian-reptile-group

Photos used in this calendar have been taken with non-disturbance photography. Any photos you may see showing handling have been taken during surveys for identifying purposes.

Slide2Slide2


Calendar Competition

Posted on Thursday 29th October, 2020

COMPETITION TIME! We need you to send us your most fantastic photos of our native UK herps. The winning 12 photos will be used in our very own special 2021 CARG calendar. The winner of our overall favourite will not only have their photo on the front of the calendar, but they will receive one as their prize! All photos used will be referenced. The calendars will be available to purchase after the competition has ended on the 14th November.

Submit your photos to edoutreach.cumbria.arg@gmail.com for a chance to win your spot in the calendar! Good luck 😊Competition post


Summer Update

Posted on Tuesday 27th October, 2020

Hi 

Hope everyone is keeping well and safe !

Well it hasn't been the survey season we were preparing for or expecting - we had lots of great activities planned for members during the summer months. 

However, the facebook page has been a great way to keep things ticking over with training courses, quizzes, on line seminars and information for followers.

Link to seminars and training courses 

ARG seminars

Training courses

Lots of interesting outreach fundraising/activities/training and surveys are currently being prepared -  Group calendar, Toad patrols, Natterjack monitoring, Burial ground surveys, Education visits, Field trips, Corporate training - so keep checking here and on our FB page for updates.

We are always looking for people to become more involved by becoming a member and joining these fantastic activities helping to conserve our native amphibians and reptiles.


PLEASE READ OUR LATEST ADVICE CONCERNING THE COVID-19 VIRUS OUTBREAK (UPDATED MAY 29TH 2020)

Posted on Sunday 31st May, 2020

PLEASE READ OUR LATEST ADVICE CONCERNING THE COVID-19 VIRUS OUTBREAK

Please follow this link - in which a risk assessment specific to COVID 19 is available and the current best practice advice from CIEEM for its members, which sets out sensible precautions which ARG volunteers may wish to adopt when surveying 

COVID UPDATE


Events

Events

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ARGWEB Login

ARGWEB Login

 

 

 
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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 

Relevant documents are below and contact email address for Toad Coordinator Matt 

mail@wildlifeoasis.co.uk

pdfToad-Patrol-Pack-for-Managers.pdf

docTOADS-ON-ROADS-REGISTRATION-FORM_1.doc

pdfToad_patrol_Cumbria_sites_and_how_you_can_get_involved.pdf

odtPatroller_declaration_form.odt

 

 

 TP

 

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

"Finding Sanctuary" Project 

 

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

docxFinding_Sanctuary_Project_Pack.docx

CARG Survey group

Up to date COVID 19 Risk Assessment docARG_UK_Generic_Risk_Assessment_June_202128572.doc

An introduction to amphibians and reptiles on allotments pdfAllotments_leaflet.pdf

Some ID guides from ARC Trust and ARG UK:

Amphibian ID guide

Reptile ID guide

Church yard

 

 

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 jpgSlide1.JPG

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

 

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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01931 714 128
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Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.

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