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

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


Clipstone Lizard Walk. 6th August 2023

Posted on Sunday 6th August, 2023

After Saturdays rain, Sunday morning with its sunny intervals was the perfect conditions to walk my local area in Clipstone to see if any Common Lizards were out basking.

The first woodland edges were very productive with 5 adult Common Lizards and 4 juveniles seen.

Common Lizards have started giving birth and this is the perfect time to see them, edge habitat, or in heather, on leaf litter are good places to see them, even roadside verges.

Nottinghamshire is a good county to see Common Lizard, they are present most parks and nature reserves across Nottinghamshire.

I then moved onto to some roadside habitat, which again had Adult and juveniles present, brilliant news for the local Lizard population.

I spent just over 2 hours on my walk and managed approximately 20 plus Common Lizards, with juveniles in the 3 main areas I was checking.

As a bonus I managed to see a couple of baby Toads moving through the heather.

Here's some photo's from the morning.

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NottsARG Reptile Survey Walk 29 April 2023

Posted on Saturday 29th April, 2023

NottsARG had a lovely morning reptile walk in Nottinghamshire today and the day started very well, as even before the group arrived we had spotted 3 Common Lizard, a good start indeed.

After everyone had arrived for the 9.30 walk, Steve(NottsARG committee) registered everyone into the event and discussed health and safety and the risk assessment for the event.

Next, the Chair of NottsARG, Kevin Clarke explained a little about the mornings walk and what it would entail.

We set off on the first transect, showing the group what to look for and also how to survey using artificial refugia.

We were very lucky to find 3 species on the first transect Slow Worm's, Common Lizards and a young female Toad.

The second transect, we allowed the group to survey  while being observed and Common Lizard were seen as well as a single Slow Worm. 

The next 2 transects unfortunately didn't produce any reptiles, but the last transect, which was lifted by 6 year old Solomon produced another Slow Worm.

We did catch a couple of the Slow Worm/Toad and Lizard (safely and wearing gloves) to enable such a large group to see the animals, after a few minutes they were safely put back where found.

All in all a fantastic morning.

Kevin Clarke

Chair NottsARG

 

and here's a lovely post from one of our NottsARG volunteers(Val Green).

 

Fantastic reptile survey walk this morning in Nottinghamshire - my first 🙂

We saw our first slow worm within 10 minutes - certainly not the last.

I didn't check the final tally but I think it was 6 slow worms, 8 common lizards and a toad.

Here are a few photos that give a flavour of the morning 🦎

I will also be posting photos and video clips on our Instagram page and Facebook page.

Note. The survey was fully licenced and permission obtained to share photos.

Val Green - NottsARG

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NottsARG Amphibian Training Session 14-15 April 2023

Posted on Tuesday 18th April, 2023

With the amphibian season well and truly started, the toads and frogs have been and gone in places throughout Nottinghamshire.

However, the newts are just starting to become more active and if you are lucky, you may see them courting and laying eggs in your garden or local ponds.

The site chosen holds all four verified Nottinghamshire amphibians which made for a great night of surveying.

Three committee members(under license) led two groups of volunteers through the night and morning on the survey sessions.

The groups started with a safety brief followed by disinfecting footwear and equipment.

After the technical bits were  out the way the group learned how to survey using a torch, and learning to identify the species they came across in their torch beam.

A few newts were caught safely to allow for closer identification out of water for the trainees, this would allow some of the team to see the animals up close without struggling to identify the animals at distance in the water.

This was followed by learning how to look for and ID newt eggs that had been laid, and with careful looking we found both newt species eggs( that are present)  in the water.

After finding a suitable site we then discussed the use of, and deployed bottle traps(using the well versed guidelines and techniques for this kind of survey).

After bottle traps were deployed and carefully counted out, we then carried on our visual surveys of the areas, finishing our evening survey at approximately 12.30am.

The following morning the groups met at 6:15am to check and collect the bottle traps(making sure all were counted in that were put out) ,out of the 30 bottles we deployed we caught 2 male smooth newts.

The total amphibians seen on our survey were:-

30 Male Toads

1 1st year juvenile Toad

3 Male Frog

5 Male Great Crested Newt

2 Female Great Crested Newt

1 Juvenile Great Crested Newt

11 Male Smooth Newts

7 Female Smooth Newts

2 Male Smooth Newt caught in bottle traps

Smooth newt eggs and GCN eggs on both leaves and egg strips

All in all a fantastic session, with everyone coming away with some good Amphibian knowledge.

If you wish to join us on surveys like this then please become a member and email us at 

nottsarg@hotmail.com

Maiya Evans

NottsARG Amphibian's Officer

 

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A view from the Chair...

Posted on Saturday 8th April, 2023

Well since the new committee was formed this year, the Nottinghamshire branch of the ARG has been extremely busy.

We have a very active amphibian team that have been working on Toad patrols, Toad Patrol mapping and engaging volunteers on these.

The team has also been busy out and about surveying the amphibians around the area, as recording these animals, wherever they may be, is crucial to providing the information which can hopefully drive measures in conserving these animals.

The amphibian team has been very successful in training up enthusiastic volunteers, and having joined one of these sessions, I can see what an amazing job they are doing.

Our top amphibian expert, Maiya Evans is proving to be a great asset to the team, and with the help of her Dad, Cameron, they are doing an amazing job.

With all the amphibian work going off that doesn't mean the reptiles are being overlooked.....

We have collaborated this year with National Trust and have just completed setting up some survey transects on their land.

Also we have set up more transects close to the National Trust site in conjunction with Forestry England.

Our main reptile focus is the Slow Worm, as being a very secretive reptile, it can be hard to gauge where they are, and one of the best ways to locate these animals is survey refuges and surveys.

We are hoping to have a reptile event soon, keep an eye out for updates on social media.

For now I will leave you with some images from the first quarter of the year.

Best regards

Kevin Clarke

Chair - NottsARG

 

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Events

Events

Show Past Events

Reptile survey and pond dipping

Sat 29th June, 2024

In the morning, we will be checking the reptile transect, followed by pond dipping in the afternoon.

Please contact us at NottsARG@hotmail.com to get booked onto one or both sessions.

Limited space for each session available!


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!


Slow worm survey

Sat 13th July, 2024

We will be checking one of our transects known for slow worms.

Please contact us at NottsARG@hotmail.com to get booked onto the session.

Limited spaces available!


Sherwood Forest - Robin Hood Festival 2024

Sat 17th August, 2024 - Sun 18th August, 2024

We will have a stall at Sherwood Forest, showcasing what we do as a group and talking to the public about Notts amphibians and reptiles. During the day we are hoping to take groups out looking for reptiles.

Please contact us at NottsARG@hotmail.com if interested in helping on the stall.

Festival Info:
https://www.visitsherwood.co.uk/home/robin-hood-festival-2024/


Bio Blitz stall

Sun 25th August, 2024

Broxtowe Borough Council are hoping to run a bio blitz at Alexandrina Plantation / Sandy Lane LNR, we have been invited to run a stall to engage the public, with a hope of checking some reptile mats.

Please contact us at NottsARG@hotmail.com if interested in helping on the stall.


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

Jun 5, 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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