Cumbria ARG
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About Us

Welcome to Cumbria Amphibian and Reptile Group! (CARG)


Please follow this link to ARG UK GROUP PAGE for latest advice concerning risk assessment specific to COVID 19  and current best practice advice from CIEEM for its members, which sets out sensible precautions which ARG volunteers may wish to adopt when surveying (Updated 29th May 2020)



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




Posted on Sunday 31st May, 2020


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 


March 2020

Posted on Sunday 12th April, 2020


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

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


February 2020

Posted on Saturday 22nd February, 2020

Toad Patrols

For more information on Cumbria Toad Patrols

Become a Patrol Manager

Patrol helper

Have information on a toad crossing


Matt Carr County Coordinator 

Screenshot 20200222 055842

Students from The University of Cumbria raising funds for toad patrols

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 !

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Herpetofauna Workers Meeting 2020

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.

Screenshot 20200216 220252FB IMG 1582356910834

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CARG Expedition 

Places still available ! See JULY Upcoming Events


January 2020 Toad Patrol Appeal

Posted on Thursday 16th January, 2020

We are appealing for the following:

Volunteers - To help with toad patrols (see 'Cumbria Toad Patrol' in our event section)

Information - We are asking for you to inform us of any unregistered cumbrian toad crossings, especially Carlisle and Penrith area !

Donations - With an increase in voluntary help any local businesses that could help us with the donation of essential toad crossing equipment - Hi vis, buckets and torches - we are keen to hear from you!

Email us:


Toad Carg

   Cumbrian Common Toad (Thompson 2019)

November 2019

Posted on Sunday 24th November, 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 !

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We welcomed new members to CARG and held a mid year year meeting discussing projects past, present and future 



Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

Reptile Survey Cliburn Moss

Sat 4th May, 2019

Beginners reptile survey day at Cliburn Moss (for members)

An introduction into basic ecology, habitat and survey techniques for the Common lizard.

Six places available and a commitment to carry on survey through the summer 2/3 visits per person maximum.

10.00am till 2.00pm.

By kind permission Natural England (Colin Auld)

Cliburn moss site and directions: pdfNE540.pdf

Book your place


Adder Monitoring Finglandrigg Wood

Mon 6th May, 2019


Various dates.

Adder monitoring at Finglandrigg Woods (Natural England).

Photographing adders for individual identification.

For population estimates and for the calculation of habitat range.

Must be a member (for insurance purposes).

If you would like to participate please email


adderadder 1

Photos by Guy Broome (2019)

Reptile Survey Cliburn Moss

Thu 4th July, 2019

Cliburn moss

Thursday 4th of July

Common lizard survey 9am -12pm

If you would like to come and help survey common lizards at Cliburn moss tomorrow please email for further details.

Membership forms and voluntary forms are a requirement (found on 'About us page' for insurance purposes, they can be emailed or brought on the day. £5 fee covers the year, however free for students and under 16's.

Foulshaw Moss Walk and Talk

Tue 30th July, 2019

A guided amphibian and reptile walk around the Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve at Foulshaw Moss.

Please use facebook page link to show interest.


Drumburgh moss

Sat 31st August, 2019 - Sat 31st August, 2019

Saturday the 31st of August at 10.00am a guided walk given by reserve manager Kevin Scott will take place around the Cumbria Wildlife Trust site of Drumburgh moss.

The trust has seen a reduced number of sightings over the last couple of years of Adders and Common lizards and they would like Cumbria ARG volunteers to carry out a survey to estimate the populations of these reptiles.

The actual survey will commence early next year and people that would like to be involved are required to be CARG members for insurance purposes. Guidance and training on survey techniques will be given prior to the start of the survey.

common lizard

For more information, history, location, fauna and flora that can be observed at Drumburgh see the following link:

To register your interest or for more information email: 


Presentation - An Investigation of a Secretive Reptile (Date change 21st October)

Mon 21st October, 2019


University of Cumbria, Fusehill St. Carlisle

Learning Gateway, Lecturer Theatre 6pm

An Informative talk on a two year study investigating the individual indentification of the cryptic lizard  - Slow worm (Anguis fragilis)

Also information on Cumbria ARG, how to join and how to get involved with the counties native amphibians and reptiles.


A Trip to the Zoo !

Sun 10th November, 2019

Sunday the 10th of November 10.00 am onwards we have a end of season trip to Lakeland Wildlife Oasis at Milnthorpe LA7 7FE

  • Meeting at 10 am at the Oasis we will be given a personal guided tour of the herp enclosures (animal handling included !!!!!!!)


  • The committee and members will have an end of season meeting, reflecting on the first few months and what as a group we have planned for 2020 


  • Non members are more than welcome to join us if they wish to meet us, they would like to become members, they have ideas for future events etc.and to find out what we have planned


  • The rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your own pace


  • The entrance price for this visit has been kindly reduced to £7 per adult - this also includes a CARG organised return visit  - FREE OF CHARGE - at the beginning of next year !!!!!!!!


Link to website






Cumbria Toad Patrols

Mon 20th January, 2020

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: 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:

ill be posting more info in this group as and when i get it including letting you all know when the migration startspdfToad-Patrol-Pack-for-Patrollers.pdf

Many Thanks

Marr Carr

Herps Workers Meeting 2020

Sat 15th February, 2020 - Sun 16th February, 2020



The following link will lead to information, registration details, presentations and workshops being held at the conference, held in Southport this coming February

Herps Workers Meeting 2020


AGM CARG Members

Sun 15th March, 2020 - Sun 15th March, 2020

Annual general meeting for CARG committee and members

15th March -  The Old Courthouse Shap CA10 3NL    2pm to 5pm 




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.



How to record your sightings  How to record your sightings

Membership Membership tutorial

Contact us

Contact Us



01931 714 128

Upcoming Events

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