Yorkshire Amphibian & Reptile Group
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About us

About Us

If you have an interest in amphibians and reptiles, this site will provides you with information about our local voluntary group which works with and for this enigmatic group of species in the region. In addition this site aims to tell you about the work we do and how to join in if you wish to pursue your interest.

Volunteering with Yorkshire ARG
If you are interested in reptile and amphibian conservation in Yorkshire why not become an active Yorkshire ARG member? Throughout the year we require help with activities of varying scale ranging from site monitoring for amphibians and reptiles, amphibian reintroductions to amphibian swabbing to contribute to national programmes aimed at determining the extent of amphibian disease in the UK. There is no minimum commitment required, however, the more YOU put in the more the amphibians and reptiles of Yorkshire will benefit.

Without volunteers most conservation organisations would not exist! Yorkshire ARG (YARG) is no exception, therefore if you too want to unleash the hidden herpetologist within why not join the ARG and help conserve a group of declining British species. Our Constitution is attached.pdfYARG_Constitution_FINAL_REVISED.pdf

  • Gain a chance to see elusive often hard to find species in their natural environment.
  • Help make difference to neglected species that in some cases are in rapid decline.
  • Gain experience in active conservation, essential for today's ecological employment market.
  • Meet new, like minded people.
  • Get exercise and fresh air with a purpose rather than at the gym.
  • Gain the satisfaction of helping YOUR local environment!

We encourage people to take part in reptile and amphibian survey projects like the National Amphibian and Reptile Monitoring Programme (NARMP) coordinated by ARC Trust, Freshwater Habitat Trust's PondNet Spawn Survey as well as rare reptile monitoring on sites that are short of voluntary surveyors. We help train people where necessary. There are also numerous opportunities for taking part in conservation tasks across the county (usually winter habitat management), on nature reserves managed by organisation such as the Wildlife Trusts, ARC Trust, local and regional councils, Natural England, the Forestry Commission, RSPB, National Trust and other landowners. YARG aims to provide a link between these bodies and all the keen volunteers that are out there. If you want to offer your services, or you need volunteers for your herp-related projects, then get in touch!

How can I join?

It's simple! Download the membership forms and Volunteer Working Agreement, fill them in and follow the instructions.  Please save paper and postage and email as an electronic version to us (or as a photo of the completed forms as long as the data is legible). 

Membership of Yorkshire ARG is just £5 per year which goes directly towards the work of the group and the conservation of amphibians and reptiles.

Join us on Facebook

Also check us out and join the community on our Facebook page:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/1689647994585484/ or search "Yorkshire ARG (YARG)" - request to join..



Yorkshire ARG - Emerging from hibernation!

Posted on Monday 20th February, 2023


We held our informal 2023 AGM last week and have loads of opportunities for events and activities with the ARG this year after the last few seasons being affected by Covid (which we know has affected many local ARG and ecological organisations)  and also usual winter period of limited activity. 

Generally these events will be posted on the Facebook page but we hope to refresh this website also with details of events and news of the group, also post updates and photos following event ideas for 2023:


  • We have a couple of collaboration events with Freshwater Habitats Trust including pond surveys for Toads and spawn at Strensall Common late March - date TBC
  • Pond Surveys at Gallows Hill nature reserve, Otley http://www.otley.co.uk/gallows/gallowshill.pdf  Date in late April TBC
  • A planned National  Amphibian and Reptile Monitoring Training event to support ARC Trust relaunched national monitoring programme (formally NARRS) For more details and to sign up see  https://monitoring.arc-trust.org/
  • Ongoing reptile surveys at a number of adder and grass snake sites 
  • Attendance at Wildlife /Meadow Safari Days 
  • Possible collaboration survey event with Derbyshire ARG. 
  • Are you doing a Bioblitz and would be interested in being support/attended by YARG?  Please let us know.
  • Plus others.....


Memberships renewals were agreed to be refreshed and requests for renewals will be issued via email in mid/late March. It was agreed with those present that uf you had formally joined YARG since 1 June 2022 your membership would be honored until 1st April 2024. However we may need to circulate latest Volunteers Working Agreement information. 


If you have sightings and records:

Continue to support and encourage all members, general public and interested parties to record amphibian and reptile sighting with a photo and submit to the relevant ecological data centre (see https://www.alerc.org.uk/lerc-finder.html to find the one relevant to your site/record) and Record Pool at https://www.recordpool.org.uk/ which only takes a few minutes. 


Please bear with us on emails - presently we have no formally secretary and all are busy with our days jobs... but we are working through the backlog.   If there is anything urgent which you have not received a reply to please do contact us through the Facebook Messenger. 



Yorkshire ARG 

Gallows Hill Nature Reserve - New Pond Creation!

Posted on Monday 12th February, 2018



Just an update on the Gallows Hill Nature reserve area new ponds creation works which has been assisted by a donation from YARG and ARG UK 100% fund.

Two ponds have now been now dug and lined with bentomat, in an area adjacent to the existing pond along with a pond dipping platform to allow people to enjoy pond dipping and other wildlife activities. Material which was unearthed during the pond creation has been used to make a large hibernaculum too which was covered with soil. .

The ponds are already filling with water - see photos below:

The project has been supported principally by Otley Town Council and fund raising efforts by Friends of Gallows Hill (thanks everyone who came to the ‘Pondlife’ gig!) with further donations from Wharfedale Naturalists Society, Yorkshire Amphibian and Reptile Group, West Yorkshire Bat Group, Otley Beer Festival, Waitrose Green Token scheme and local businesses Haycock and Jay Associates and Ground-direct Ltd.

There will certainly be opportunities to participate in the project during the year as the pond become established to help out the Friends of Gallows Hill group. Feel free to visit and use the reserve over the next few weeks and months and see how the project is progressing!

Well done to Gordon and the team!!  ARG money (and YARG funds) being put to good use!

breaking ground minPond1 min


Pond2 minthe team benomat liners min



2018 AGM - February 22nd - See Events Page

Posted on Thursday 8th February, 2018


See Yorkshire ARG Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/1572107566208899/


Happy New Year! - HWM booking closes on 7th January 2018.

Posted on Tuesday 2nd January, 2018


Another year has past us by and we welcome in 2018...!  Happy New Year to Yorkshire ARG members and non members.  We hope to have our annual meeting as usual in mid/late February following the HWM - details of which are below. I'll circulate details to members and add to the event page when we have a fixed date.


Dates for your diary – upcoming events: A quick reminder that bookings for the 2018 HWM which will be in Northampton on 3-4 February this year, close at midnight on 7th January.  If you wish to go do make sure you have registered by then.  One of the central points of our annual calendar, this is looking to be another great meeting, and we look forward to meeting many of you there.  For more on this follow this link: https://www.arc-trust.org/Event/hwm2018.

ARG UK is also sponsoring an important Scottish herpetofauna meeting, ‘The Amphibians and Reptiles of Scotland: Current Research, Future Challenges’, which will be held in Glasgow on 9th June 2018. Organised by Clyde ARG and the Glasgow Natural History Society, this conference will cover all aspects of amphibian and reptile conservation, and a number of our ARG folk are speaking. My understanding is that bookings are not yet open, but we have put a provisional programme on our web-page and will update it as soon as we have any news. https://www.arguk.org/get-involved/events/16-the-amphibians-and-reptiles-of-scotland-current-research-future-challenges


2017 Season upon us!

Posted on Saturday 18th March, 2017

Latest GW Y ARG Logo

Hi All

Following our Yorkshire ARG annual meeting held in early March we welcome YARG members old and new to join us in events and activities this 2017 season.  We welcome any opportunities to undertake survey and training events, conservation activities or anything else which seeks to meet our objectives as a ARG.

Frogspawn is now becoming abundant at pond sites and the herps of Yorkshire are now awaking to the new season and are heading to ponds for breeding, basking and become well and truly active.

The Yorkshire ARG is essentially what the members make it - whilst we seek to offer events each year its up to you to provide ideas for events, provide insights of sites areas which may need further survey or assistance with enhancement or other events to raise awareness so please do let us know (see contact details).  There loads of amazing habitats in Yorkshire to explore!

Look forward to see you over the course of the season and happy herping!

The Yorkshire ARG committee!





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Contact us

Contact Us

Whatever your enquiry, we'd love to hear from you! Just email us and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

General enquiries - newyorksarg@gmail.com





Data Requests - Unfortunately Yorkshire ARG do not hold records or have the provision to undertake record searches. Please contact the relevent local record centre; West Yorkshire Ecology http://www.ecology.wyjs.org.uk/, North and East Yorkshire  Ecological Data Centre http://www.neyedc.org.uk/.  South Yorkshire see http://www.ywt.org.uk/what-we-do/biodiversity/local-record-centres

The Yorkshire ARG Committee:

Chair: Andy McIlwraith
Secretary & Treasurer: Clare McIlwraith

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.

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