NARG - Nottinghamshire Amphibian and Reptile Group
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About us

About Us

Nottinghamshire Amphibian & Reptile Group (NARG) aims to further the knowledge of frogs, toads, newts, lizards and snakes in Nottinghamshire.The group actively supports the conservation of these often secretive and misunderstood creatures, as well as supporting members with training, field trips and surveys.

The main aim of the group is to generate amphibian and reptile records to aid the conservation of these species within the county. We achieve this through surveys which are ran throughout the year, as well as workshops (e.g. on animal identification) and other events and projects our members can join in with.

In Nottinghamshire we have four species of amphibian, the Common Frog, Common Toad, Smooth Newt and Great Crested Newt, as well as 3 species of reptile, the Grass Snake, Slow-worm and Common Lizard (all of which are harmless).

If you do see one of these species please record your sightings on Record Pool - this can be done through our website under the 'Record a sighting' tab.

Want to help? Have a look at the 'How you can help' tab at the top of the page to find out more.

Full Event info is on our members-only Facebook Group:

Nottinghamshire ARG (NARG) | Facebook Group

For enquiries we can also be contacted at:

NottsARG@hotmail.com

 

See previous newsletters here:

pdfNARG_Newsletter_1_2024.pdf

News

News

Above and Below event – 4th May 2024

Posted on Tuesday 14th May, 2024

We recently held our first ever joint survey with Nottinghamshire Bat Group. The “Above and Below” event was a great success, with 21 people attending for an evening of amphibian and bat surveying. The evening began with some boot cleaning and a talk on the importance of biosecurity, followed by an introduction to the site and plans for the evening. The group was then split into two, with one group focusing on bats to begin with and then swapping over to amphibians and vice versa. Through torching and netting, the amphibian team managed to see Common Frogs, Common Toads, Smooth Newts and Great Crested Newts (as well as frog and toad tadpoles and Smooth Newt eggs) and using bat detectors and infrared cameras the bat team saw and heard Common Pipistrelles, Soprano Pipistrelles, Noctules, Daubenton’s and Brown Long Eared bats.

Many thanks to everyone who attended!

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Amphibian training 20th April 2024

Posted on Saturday 27th April, 2024

We ran our first amphibian survey of 2024 on the 20th April. We had an amazing evening where we discussed the history and use of the site where the training was held, and the different species of amphibians found in Nottinghamshire. We also talked about how important it is to clean our boots and practice biosecurity measures to ensure amphibian safety – boots were cleaned before and after the event.

The location we chose for the training was just perfect to showcase all four of Nottinghamshire's amphibian species, including the Common toad, Common frog, Smooth newt, and Great crested newt. We were able to find three species in just 30 minutes of the survey!

As part of the event, we organised a hand netting activity, which allowed the attendees to get an up-close look at various species. We also facilitated a hands-on survey of Smooth newts and Great crested newts, while keeping a close eye on the handling process to ensure the safety of both the newts and the participants.

Overall, it was a fantastic evening, and we received a lot of positive feedback from the attendees. One lady even expressed her delight in the newts' toes!

Thank you to everyone who attended!

 

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2024 Toad patrols

Posted on Tuesday 23rd April, 2024

In the 2024 amphibian migratory season, we built on the Toad Patrol project that was first started by Notts ARG in 2023. In 2023, there were approximately 15 toad patrollers that saved 600 toads across a handful of sites in Nottinghamshire. This year we signed up to collaborate with Froglife on their “Toads on Roads” scheme and worked really hard to promote the project (with dedicated Facebook and Whatsapp groups and articles written about us by Notts Wildlife Trust, Notts BAG and the Nottingham Post). The project has gone from strength to strength, and we now have 52 registered toad patrollers that have saved amphibians from road mortality at 17 sites across Nottinghamshire.

Our results for 2024 are as follows:

Species

Helped

Deceased

Common Toad

1780

360

Common Frog

41

4

Great Crested Newt

80

1

Smooth Newt

13

17

 

We are thrilled to have saved so many amphibians from road mortality this year. Although it is devastating to also have to report on so many deceased amphibians, these figures will be useful to allow us to target our efforts in the correct areas next year.


As part of the toad patrol project, we have given training to toad patrollers (both in-person at toad crossings and as a webinar). Training has focused on amphibian ID, how to safely patrol and the importance of biosecurity in preventing the spread of amphibian diseases and non-native species. We also recently built on the success of the toad patrols with a non-members meeting, where patrollers (and other people interested in getting involved with Notts ARG) were invited for an evening of talks about the exciting work that we can do and the ways that they can get involved. Off the back of the meeting, we have had several new members sign up as Notts ARG members, and we recently took many of these new members on an amphibian training survey where they got the chance to see, ID and handle Common Frogs, Great Crested Newts and Smooth Newts (without the stress of a road!).

 

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If you are interested in learning more about toad patrols or getting involved yourself, please contact our Toad Patrol Coordinator Kay at nottsargtoadpatrols@hotmail.com


Amphibian Watch

Posted on Tuesday 2nd January, 2024

I am sure everyone is getting tired of all this rain and feeling rather depressed by it all.

However, every cloud can have a silver lining.

Cloudy skies at this time of year tend to lead to milder nights, which with a bit of rain can lead to ideal conditions to see amphibians starting to return to ponds and other water bodies to breed.

Luckily I managed to build  2 small wildlife ponds in my garden about 4 years ago, and over time they have been populated by Smooth Newts and the odd Common Frog.

I can honestly say, it's something every avid wildlife conservationist/enthusiast should have in their garden.

On mild nights I usually go out in the garden with a good torch to see if there are any movements, and January is usually the month the Smooth Newts return to my ponds.

Tonight I have seen 5 Smooth Newts,3 male,2 female (last year my maximum count was 26 in April/May)

Other amphibians as well as newts can also be seen on mild nights in January, so keep your eyes out, and watch your steps in the dark as amphibians can travel quite a distance to return back to a breeding pond, which may mean crossing roads(Toad patrols coming soon) pavements or the garden path and lawn.

Keep those eyes peeled.

Some phone images from tonight's 'Amphibian garden watch'

Kevin .NottsARG Chair

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Chair Message

Posted on Sunday 24th December, 2023

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in some way with Nottinghamshire ARG this year. Whether it has been through surveying, committee work, spreading the word, donations through membership etc or by some other means that I am failing to mention, thank you.

I also would like to thank the Forestry England team(especially Amy Chandler) , the National Trust Team and the Newstead & Annesley CP team who have been extremely supportive of the group and have done habitat improvements to benefit our native reptile and amphibians.

We are also looking forward to working with other partners in 2024, NottsBAG, Notts City Council and NWT to name just a few.

We have some plans of action for the new year with Toad Patrols being the first focus of the year, but we really need more people involved as more and more areas are opening up to us that will benefit our local herpetofauna.

Volunteer organisations always find it tough to find dedicated people to spare their valuable time and we hope we can find more like minded people in the new year and if you know someone please ask them if they would like to get involved.

We aim to have the AGM sometime in January and we would be looking at an online Microsoft Teams or Zoom meeting, I will be in touch soon when a date is finalised.

For now though, thank you again for your support, and I wish you and your families, a very Merry Christmas.

Kevin

NottsARG Chair


Events

Events

Show Past Events

Reptile survey

Sun 26th May, 2024

Newstead and Annesley Country Park (NACP) run an annual dawn till dusk survey, this involves collecting data on as many fauna and flora species within 24 hours on the site. 

 

NARG will be running a reptile survey joint with the NACP survey group, the survey will include checking reptile refugia as well as visually searching for reptiles. Time has not been decided but will sent to those wishing to attended, if you are a member and are interested in joining this event please email us at nottsarg@hotmail.com to book a space - numbers limited. We will updated here once the event is fully booked up.

 

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Sherwood Forest Trust Woodland Festival 2024

Sat 15th June, 2024

The Sherwood Forest Trust will be celebrating its 10th anniversary of the popular Woodland Festival, NARG will have a stall there on the 15th Saturday so pop along! To find out more follow this link - https://sherwoodforest.org.uk/projects/the-sherwood-forest-trust-woodland-festival-2024/ 


Gedling Gala

Sat 6th July, 2024

We will have a stall at the Gedling Gala on the 6th July 2024, come along and see us!


How you can help

How you can help

With amphibians and reptiles in decline globally, conservation efforts targeting these species are becoming more and more vital.

Some of the ways you can help conserve Nottinghamshire's amphibians and reptiles are listed below. All of our events are open to anyone, no matter your level of experience!

Members - events published on social media 

  • Setting up survey sites 

To better understand the distribution of our herps, we need to be setting up new survey sites (as well as surveying our existing sites!). Members are able to assist with setting up new sites and will learn how we do this most effectively to monitor populations. Sites where we find no amphibians and reptiles are just as important as those that have large populations, as they give us an idea of where management efforts need to be targeted to increase species numbers. 

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  • Training

Occasionally we offer ID and survey training where you will be taught by some of our enthusiastic committee members. Training events offer opportunities to learn new skills and meet new people! Throughout the year we also have in field training for both amphibians and reptiles where members can learn new ways of surveying, why we survey and how records are beneficial. 

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  • Reptile surveys

Reptile surveys are carried out regularly and are published on our survey members Whatsapp group. With all of our sites being sensitive we do not publicly publish their locations to prevent unnecessary disturbance. These usually take place in the early morning and consist of visual searches and surveying refugia, providing an opportunity to practice your ID and habitat recognition skills. 

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  • Amphibian surveys 

Amphibian surveys aren't carried out as regularly as our reptiles survey, but we try to offer them as often as we can. Like our reptile sites, we do not publicly publish their locations to prevent unnecessary disturbance. Amphibian surveys are usually carried on sites that hold all four of our local amphibian species. They are carried out late at night and members can learn ID skills, habitat recognition and survey methods such as torching and egg searching. 

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  • Habitat restoration 

Although our amphibians and reptiles are resting once the survey season has finished, our members are not! Winter provides the perfect time to clear areas that become inaccessible due to vegetation and many of our sites need clearing annually to ensure they remain suitable for our species. Habitat restoration days consist of cutting down scrub and creating brash piles whilst still allowing areas for reptiles to bask. 

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Non-members 

  • Toad patrols

As the weather gets warmer in February and March, our amphibians start to migrate to their local ponds. Often this means that they have to cross man made barriers like roads to breed and unfortunately this means there is often a high casualty rate. Volunteers head out during the evenings with a bucket, highvis and torch to save those amphibians from the roads, placing them next to their ponds, we have a few sites across Nottinghamshire, so please get in contact with our Toad Patrol Coordinator at nottsargtoadpatrols@hotmail.com to find your local patrol.

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  • Event stalls

These events allow NARG to reach a wider audience and educate the public on the importance of amphibians and reptiles and how they can help. These events are usually free to attend and will be published on social media as well as our website.

 

None of these events require a certain time commitment, so even if you attend one event thats a great help to us! If you do wish to find out more about any of these events, please email us at NottsARG@hotmail.com.

 

How can we help you?

There may be many ways you can help us, but we can also help you!

  • Have you seen something but don't know what it is?

  • Are toads crossing the road near you, and you want to help them?

  • Do you want us to check a site where you think there may be amphibians or reptiles?

  • Are you worried about snakes in your garden? (Don't be as they will be harmless Grass Snakes or Slow-worms)

 Please contact via email if you wish to help us out or if we can help you any way. We may take a few days to respond as we are all volunteers!

 

 

Join / Donate

Join / Donate

Membership costs just £5.00 per year. Your membership will help NARG to protect the amphibians & reptile of Nottinghamshire. As a member you be able to take part in conservation events arround the county.

 

 

You can help NARG achieve its goals by a simple donation towards our activities. Donations are put towards equipment used for habitat management, survey equipment and materials for public engagement eg fact sheets.

 

 

By becoming a member you will be insured for any activities and future benefits. If you wish to join or donate then you can pay through paypal using the buttons or we can accept cash or bank transfers. Contact nargtreasurer03@outlook.com with your details to pay by bank transfer.

 

 

Photo gallery

Photo Gallery

May 14, 2024
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Contact us

Contact Us

If you have any enquiries about amphibians and reptiles in your local area, or Nottinghamshire in general, we would love to hear from you.

Please find ways of getting in contact below: 

 

For sightings, event details and members chat, please see our members only Facebook Group

Nottinghamshire ARG (NARG) | Facebook Group

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