Wirral ARG (WiARG)
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About us

About Us

Aim

The aim of this group is to understand and protect the amphibians and reptiles of the Wirral peninsular through organizing training, raising awareness, surveys, habitat management tasks and other conservation activities.

Background

The Wirral Peninsular has historically been habitat of Sand Lizard, Natterjack, Great Crested Newt, Common Frog, Common Toad, Smooth Newt, Palmate Newt, Common Lizard, Slow Worm and Grass Snake. However, developments in the 20th Century has seen species such as the Sand Lizard and Natterjack disappear. Status of other herps have been uncertain, the problem being linked to lack of surveys and recording.

In 2018, preliminary surveys around Wallasey revealed many new and surprising records for amphibians and reptiles. This was part of the Cheshire & Wirral ARG. However, the size of this district with that county was too large, necessitating the formation of a new ARG for Wirral (WiARG) so more surveys and recording can be coordinated across this interesting peninsular.

Founding member and current Chair of WiARG, Tom Doherty-Bone, grew up on the Wirral and was frustrated by the lost herpetofauna species and limited opportunities to view the remaining herps in the area. Formation of this new ARG will create the opportunity for local residents in the Wirral to get involved with amphibian and reptile surveys and recording for both enjoyment of these wonderful animals and to aid in their conservation on the Wirral.

Activities

Since its formation in 2019, WiARG has undertaken numerous surveys and practical conservation tasks across the Wirral. Some of the highlights have been mapping out the extent of Common Lizard in Harrison Park, Wallasey, as well as lizards and amphibians across the North Wirral Coastal Park. Updating the known status of amphibians (including Great Crested Newt) at Royden Park and more recently measuring the use of the tidal zone of amphibians in the north west Wirral coast. 

An outline itinerary for 2022-23 can be found under the 'Upcoming surveys' tab, suggestions from members are welcomed.

Existing partnerships include the Wirral Ranger Service, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, the Friends of the North Wirral Coastal Park and Wirral Wildlife. 

Committee

The present committee consists of: Thomas Doherty-Bone (chair); Sue Noyce (secretary); Jon Bielby (vice chair); Frankie Bielby (treasurer); Charles Mulryan (general committee); Mike Brown (senior adviser).

Membership

The membership fee for 2022-23 is £5, which goes toward conservation activities of the group, such as buying equipment. Payment can either be made in cash or paid through Paypal: https://paypal.me/WiARG?locale.x=en_GB

Membership cycle runs from April to April.

 Please get in contact if you wish to get involved. 

News

News

Discover the Wild-side of Central Park Wallasey on the Jubilee Weekend

Posted on Friday 27th May, 2022

We will be running a stall by the ponds at Central Park Wallasey during the Jubilee weekend. The stall will be raising awareness of the amphibians & reptiles across Wirral, with special focus on pondlife in the park. We will have some newts, tadpoles (if any about), as well as numerous invertebrates.

 

This will be in collaboration with RECORD the local biological record centre, who will be introducing park visitors to biological recording via bug hunts, bird spotting and more. 

 

We will be setting up the stall about 08:30 a.m. so if you want to come and volunteer, let us know. Hope to see you then, whether you are helping out or just saying hello and seeing what we can show you. The stall will be up from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m.

 

poster


WiARG AGM May 2021

Posted on Monday 17th January, 2022

Minutes for Wirral ARG AGM    Date 25/05/2021

 

Venue: On Zoom

Committee: Thomas Doherty-Bone (chair), Jon Bielby (secretary), Frances Bielby (treasurer), Mike Brown (mentor)

Other attendees: Sue Noyce, Charles Mulryan

Apologies: none

TDB gave a presentation on the progress and achievement of the Wirral ARG (WiARG) since its launch in March 2019, with plans for 2021-22 laid out. So far there are 18 members. The accounts were presented. The meeting was then opened to the rest of the attendees.

Matters Arising

  • New committee members were appointed and voted in: Sue Noyce as secretary; Charles Mulryan as general committee member.
  • Both Jon & Frankie Bielby have another child on the way, but rather than step down, Jon has agreed to move to the role of vice president. Frankie is happy to stay on as treasurer in name with TDB to keep handling accounts for the time being, with oversight provided as required on a case by case matter.

- End-


Spawn Reporting 2022

Posted on Monday 17th January, 2022

Subscriptions April 22-March 23

Posted on Monday 17th January, 2022

Subscriptions of £5 for April 2022-March 23 can be paid before April  either via PayPal  https://paypal.me/WiARG?locale.x=en_GB or in person at a meet


Dr Tom Doherty-Bone's talk on the setting up of WiARG July 21

Posted on Wednesday 5th January, 2022

Events

Events

Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

Reptile Survey Harrison Park, Wallasey

Thu 1st January, 1970

Checking the artificial refugia for reptiles. This is a site that is heavily used by dog walkers, yet last year it was found to be one of the best sites in Wallasey for Common Lizards. Interestingly (but worryingly) half the site burned last summer, providing an opportunity to assess if summer fires are having an impact. 

Surveys have been expanded to other sections of the park where more footfall of dogwalkers takes place. Survey is estimated to take one hour, with potential for further surveys in the adjacent Red Noses. 

Meeting at 10 a.m. at car park off Harrison Drive, Wallasey, CH45 3HL.

This event is weather permitting, therefore it is recommended to notify the organizers (tommy_dbone@yahoo.com) so any notifications with regard to the weather can be made. 

 


Introductory Meeting and pond visit, Bebington

Thu 18th April, 2019

Introductory Meeting – All Welcome!

Date & time: Thursday 18th April 2019, 7.30-9.30 p.m.

Venue: Windsor Close Community Centre, Windsor Close, Bebington, Wirral, CH62 5BZ.

Train station: Bebington. Parking: Woodhead Street Car Park.

The newly formed Wirral Amphibian & Reptile Group (ARG) aims to understand and protect the amphibians and reptiles of the Wirral peninsular through organizing training, raising awareness, surveys, habitat management tasks and other conservation activities. This is a volunteer-run initiative of the ARG UK.      

The meeting will include a talk on the present knowledge of amphibians and reptiles on the Wirral, with proposals for activities for 2019 and Q&A.

Talk will be followed by a visit to ponds at the nearby New Ferry Butterfly Park where Smooth Newts are found. Bring a torch and suitable footwear.

Biosecurity: to prevent spreading amphibian disease, footwear should be Checked-Cleaned-Dried. If you keep pet amphibians, please wear clean clothes from last handling.

 

 


Reptile Survey Harrison Park

Fri 26th April, 2019

Meeting at the car park off Harrison Drive at 10 a.m.. 

 
 
 

Harrison Park, Harrison Dr, Wallasey CH45 3HL

We will be checking artificial refugia laid down to monitor the Common Lizard population in this local park. Last year there seemed to be lizards under every mat, so hopeful it will be the same this year. If there is time, I will also go through the Red Noses to check on refugia there. Weather is supposed to be sun with light rain showers, so fingers crossed the mats will be warmed up enough for the lizards to use them.


North Wirral Coastal Park - Herps et al, City Nature Challenge

Mon 29th April, 2019

  • Meeting 10 a.m. sea front carpark at the Gunsite, North Wirral Coastal Park, Wallasey, CH45 8LW

 

There will be a reptile and amphibian survey of the Gunsite section of the North Wirral Coastal Park as part of the City Nature Challenge 2019 (see attached flyer). This is in partnership with the Friends of the North Wirral Coastal Park. This provides opportunities to see species in sand dunes, grassland, woodland, reedbeds and ponds.

The aim of the City Nature Challenge is to record as many species as possible in the Liverpool City Region using the iNaturalist app (we will be doing similar on Friday at Harrison Park). Meeting at the sea front carpark (I will be cycling as usual), we will start at 10 a.m. checking refugia for reptiles, walking through the dunes and recording other biodiversity plants, insects, etc as we go. More eyes the better! 

We will then check the off show ponds for amphibians. If there is time or energy, we will continue through the woodland-grassland to Leasowe Lighthouse to check the larger pond, even waiting till dark to see which amphibians are active, as well as other taxonomic groups. We would thus welcome more pairs of eyes and specialities for this.

 

Schedule:
 
10:00 AM - 10:10 AM Meet at Gunsite sea-front carpark
 
 
10:10 AM - 12:00 PM 
Survey around terrestrial habitats at Gunsite
 
 
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM 
Inspect ponds at Gunsite
 
 
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM 
Walk to Leasowe Common, recording on the way
 
 
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM 
Break for late lunch if not already seen.
 
 
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM 
Recording around pond at Leasowe Lighthouse
 
 
4:00 PM End of day time surveys, break off
 
 
8:45 PM - 10:00 PM 
Night time survey of pond by Leasowe Lighthouse

Amphibian survey Central Park Wallasey

Thu 2nd May, 2019 - Fri 3rd May, 2019

Meet 5 p.m. at the car park at Central Park Liscard, Wallasey (in case you thought it was New York!).

We will be setting up bottle traps in the two ponds fenced off at the park. This will be followed by a little litter pick around the ponds as they are in a bit of a state, aiming to finish 7 p.m.. We will then wait for dark at a local pub (TBC, but probably the Lazy Landlord, drinking/eating responsibly). We will then head back out and do a torch light survey c. 9 p.m. for newts, finishing about 10 p.m. 

The following morning we will check the newt traps at 9 a.m. 

What to bring:

- litter grabber if you have one
- gardening gloves or something similar for litter picking
- sturdy foot wear
- torch, ideally a head torch
- clothing to accommodate cold spells.It is expected to see lots of tadpoles, possibly frogs and toad, but last year we had new records for Smooth Newt and would like to see if the bottle traps could give us an idea on the relative abundance. In the morning we may even see the terrapin.


Reptile Survey Harrison Park Wallasey

Thu 16th May, 2019

Checking the artificial refugia for reptiles. This is a site that is heavily used by dog walkers, yet last year it was found to be one of the best sites in Wallasey for Common Lizards. Interestingly (but worryingly) half the site burned last summer, providing an opportunity to assess if summer fires are having an impact. 

Surveys have been expanded to other sections of the park where more footfall of dogwalkers takes place. Survey is estimated to take one hour, with potential for further surveys in the adjacent Red Noses. 

Meeting at 10 a.m. at car park off Harrison Drive, Wallasey, CH45 3HL.

This event is weather permitting, therefore it is recommended to notify the organizers (tommy_dbone@yahoo.com) so notifications can be sent out in case of cancellation. 


Amphibian Torch Survey Bidston Moss

Sat 18th May, 2019

We will be doing a torch survey for newts in Bidston Moss and Pride Park.

Meet at carpark by B&Q 9.15 p.m. aiming to finish by 10.30 p.m.

Bring a torch.


Reptile Survey Bidston Moss - CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER

Sun 19th May, 2019

EVENT CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER. Cloud is letting no sun through, so refugia won't be warming up. Will reschedule soon.

 

Meet at B&Q carpark 10 a.m.

Common Lizard have been observed at sections of this former landfill site and railway. Will be checking under refugia to see if Slow Worms might be present too.

 

 


Reptile Survey Harrison Park Wallasey

Thu 23rd May, 2019

Checking the artificial refugia for reptiles. This is a site that is heavily used by dog walkers, yet last year it was found to be one of the best sites in Wallasey for Common Lizards. Interestingly (but worryingly) half the site burned last summer, providing an opportunity to assess if summer fires are having an impact. 

Surveys have been expanded to other sections of the park where more footfall of dogwalkers takes place. Survey is estimated to take one hour, with potential for further surveys in the adjacent Red Noses. 

Meeting at 10 a.m. at car park off Harrison Drive, Wallasey, CH45 3HL.

This event is weather permitting, therefore it is recommended to notify the organizers (tommy_dbone@yahoo.com) so notifications can be sent out in case of cancellation. 


Reptile Survey Harrison Park Wallasey

Fri 31st May, 2019

Checking the artificial refugia for reptiles. This is a site that is heavily used by dog walkers, yet last year it was found to be one of the best sites in Wallasey for Common Lizards. Interestingly (but worryingly) half the site burned last summer, providing an opportunity to assess if summer fires are having an impact. 

Surveys have been expanded to other sections of the park where more footfall of dogwalkers takes place. Survey is estimated to take one hour, with potential for further surveys in the adjacent Red Noses. 

Meeting at 10 a.m. at car park off Harrison Drive, Wallasey, CH45 3HL.

This event is weather permitting, therefore it is recommended to notify the organizers (tommy_dbone@yahoo.com) so notifications can be sent out in case of cancellation. 


Committee Members

Committee Members

Committee 2021-22

Upcoming Surveys

Upcoming Surveys

Wirral ARG survey/task list 2022

  • Central Park
    • Common Frog monitoring
    • Newt surveys
    • Pond dipping during event
  • Harrison Park
    • Reptile survey using corrugated sheets
    • Addition of visible basing
    • Investigate possibility for adding ponds
  • Ditton Lane surveys
  • Royden Park
    • Planting of new pond
    • Add fences around ponds by Thor’s Stone
  • Wallasey Golf Course
    • General herp surveys
  • Eastham Country Park
    • Amphibian surveys
    • Pond management
  • North Wirral Coastal Park (entire length) – general herp surveys
  • NW Wirral coast (West Kirby/Hoylake) amphibian survey
  • Red Rocks - > pond management for Natterjack
  • Ponds around suburbs at Greasby
  • Search for Alpine Newts, Heswall
  • Burial ground surveys
    • Frankby Cemetery
    • Earlston Cemetery (Wallasey)

 

Contact us

Contact Us

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Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.


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