Cumbria ARG
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About us

About Us

Welcome to Cumbria amphibian and reptile group !

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.

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

Membership form docxCumbria_ARG_membership_form.docx

Generic risk assessment docARG_UK_Generic_Risk_Assessment_Feb_2018.doc

Lone working risk assessment pdfARGUK_loneworking_procedures_revised_July_2011.pdf

Volunteer form docARGUKVolunteerWorkingAgreement_updated_2018.doc

Constitution (How we operate as a group)docxCumbria_ARG_Constitution_2019.docxdoc

Recording form docxRecording_Form_2019.docx



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 !

Image may contain: foodImage may contain: plantImage may contain: plant and food

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

October 2019

Posted on Wednesday 23rd October, 2019

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.

pdfCumbria_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"

pdfZoo_society_talk.pdf    (Presentation slides)      Part 1  (Recording of talk to assist slides)      Part 2   (Recording of talk to assist slides)

Coming up in November - End of Season Trip to Lakeland Wildlife Oasis - See November Events !


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.







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 !!!!!!!!


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