Bedfordshire Reptile & Amphibian Group (BedsRAG)
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About us

About Us

Who we are

We are a small, informal grassroots conservation group dedicated to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Bedfordshire. We are affiliated to the Bedfordshire Natural History Society, we are also members of the Beds Heathland Forum. In the past, we have helped draft Species Action Plans (SAPS) for both Bedfordshire Adders and Great Crested Newt. We are also affiliated with the Amphibian and Reptile Groups UK (ARG UK), the organisation that helps with coordinating regional ARGs. 

Membership

We welcome both people who prefer to work as individuals, and people who prefer to work in cooperation with others through the Group. We occasionally organise outings and training sessions, for our members. These include such activities as workshops, particularly for people who wish to qualify for a GCN license. It doesn't matter if you've never surveyed for a newt or a lizard before, we'll be able to help train you and pair you up with someone to help generate data in your local area. At present membership is free, all you need to do to become a member is contact us.

Current members can log into the BedsRAG ARGWEB using the button below.

Our aims

At present, much of our activity has been concentrated on specific sites in the south of the county. We are only too aware of how little we know about North Bedfordshire. Bedfordshire is richer in herps than one might expect, our aim to try to map as much as this diversity as possible, through the use of targetted surveys and casual observations. If you spot any amphibians or reptiles in Bedfordshire, please report them using the appropriate tab above. Much of Bedfordshire is very poorly surveyed for amphibians and reptiles, we simply do not know what is there. Parts of the county are under severe development pressure and we hope to get a good picture of what is there before it is too late. If are interested in joining the group, and surveying you local patch for either amphibians or reptiles, please get in touch.

As well as the common species, we are also aware of two introduced species: midwife toads and marsh frogs, with one re-introduction: natterjack toads. 

 

News

News

A new, unusual, GCN site at Aspley Guise

Posted on Friday 3rd June, 2011

A good example of how little we know. We recently investigated a pond at Apsley Guise. Anything less promising it would be hard to imagine. A large water body totally devoid of weed and invertebrate life but full of GCN eggs (see picture). What are the larvae eating? A lovely heathland site but with very few records – what else is there?


A new adder sighting at Rushmere.

Posted on Friday 3rd June, 2011

This is really a Buckinghamshire record but never mind. The Greensand Trust has taken over management of an area comprising 210 acres of parkland and mixed woodland, called the Rushmere estate. Although there are wonderful opportunities for creating herp friendly sites the present terrain did not look too auspicious: too much shade; water bodies too big.

Nonetheless an adder has been sighted right by the bungalow which will be the new GST office.


‘Netting is chancy’ – so is bottle trapping.

Posted on Friday 3rd June, 2011

The new Greensand Trust reserve, Sandy Smith, has a pond originally dug for duck shooting and now known as the ‘decoy pond’. This spring we bottle trapped, netted, torched and egg searched. No sign of GCN except a single egg. Having found it we did not unwrap any more.

On August 16 we tried netting for larvae. The first time Sue put her net in we found a GCN! (see picture). An hour later that was still our only one. Plenty of smooth newt of course. It is obviously a tiny population and it will be interesting to see how it develops. Just shows how you have to use all available methods, but for presence of species egg searching is the best.


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Identification

Identification

Bedfordshire is home to a number of amphibian and reptile species, these may be hard to differentiate to the untrained eye. We've therefore provided the following information to help ensure that species identifications are correct, especially when it comes to recording. The links provided before should help most people when it comes to establishing the identity of an amphibian or reptile. If you're still stuck, then please feel free to contact us. 

Amphibians

Amphibians tend to be found in close proximity to water, especially in the spring, although they may be found in terrestrial environments in the summer and autumn. This can sometimes lead to confusion between newts and lizards.

The following amphibians can be found in Bedfordshire:

As far as we're aware, there are no populations of palmate newts, which tend to prefer more upland and acidic sites. 

If you're unable to tell which amphibian species you've found, or you're dealing with a young individual, then we recommend this helpful guide from ARG UK.

Reptiles

Reptiles tend to be found in drier habitats than amphibians, they posses scales, and are also more agile than amphibians. Like amphibians, they hibernate throughout the winter months, and emerge again in the spring.

The following reptiles can be found in Bedfordshire:

If you're unable to tell which reptile species you've found, then we recommend this helpful guide from ARG UK.

 

Contact us

Contact Us

Lloyd Rose (Chair)

Steve Allain ( Volunteers officer, Main Contact) 

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Second contact: Lloyd Rose, lloyd-rose@hotmail.co.uk

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.


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