North Merseyside Amphibian and Reptile Group

About us

About Us

NMARG was formed in 2005 and is a group of about 70 members who are mostly involved with the conservation and monitoring of the reptiles and amphibians found in the area, especially the rarest two species, the Merseyside Race Sand Lizard and the Natterjack Toad.

During the Winter months, we undertake habitat management work, in partnership with other ARG groups, the Gems in the Dunes project and the Sefton Council Coast and Countryside Ranger Service. This vital work involves the clearance of unwanted scrub and trees, especially Sea Buckthorn, a highly invasive alien shrub on the Sefton Coast, which would otherwise shade out the precious Sand Lizard and Natterjack habitat. In the Spring, NMARG members also help to create and maintain the patches of bare sand essential for Sand Lizard egg laying.

During the Spring and Summer months we spend a large amount of time recording and monitoring the local reptile and amphibian species, especially the rarer species. NMARG's EPS licensed members also help to provide training in reptile and amphibian surveying.

Anyone wishing to get involved, seeking advice or supplying records are very welcome. Please contact Mike Brown at




Reptile and amphibian survey training May 6th 2017

Posted on Monday 8th May, 2017

A dozen people from NMARG and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust's Biodiverse Society Project attended the latest reptile and amphibian survey training day at Ainsdale on Saturday, May 6th, which included walks out into the dunes for a couple of practical sessions. Unfortunately, due to the dull, cold weather, we were unable to find any lizards, but we did manage to find and compare eggs of Great Crested Newts and Smooth Newts, as well as adults and juveniles of both species. We also found fresh spawn strings and tadpoles of Natterjack Toads and, after dark, a few adult Natterjacks in the 'scrapes' , although it was too cold and dry for any males to be calling.                                    

More Habitat Management March 5, 2017

Posted on Monday 6th March, 2017

A very wet morning for our latest scrub clearance task, but the weather cleared up a bit later, and at least it wasn't spiky stuff this time, just Poplar suckers and Sycamore we removed from a fixed dune site with an important, but declining, Sand Lizard population. 

Latest Habitat Management Task on February 19th, 2017

Posted on Wednesday 22nd February, 2017

NMARG's latest habitat management task, on Sunday, Feb 19th, 2017, took place again on the Ainsdale dunes LNR, when we cleared further areas of invasive Sea Buckthorn. Some of the spiky bushes we cleared were more than 10 years old, judging by the annual rings on the stumps! We generated several piles of brash, including a very large one, ready for burning at a later date.


Habitat management task on Saturday, 28th January, 2017

Posted on Wednesday 1st February, 2017

NMARG's latest habitat management task, on Saturday, January 28th, was very well attended, despite the heavy, blustery rain showers. We were joined by 8 volunteers from Liverpool Sir John Moore's University, making 16 people in total, and everyone got stuck into clearing scrub, especially Sea Buckthorn from a large area on the Ainsdale dunes, creating better habitat for Sand Lizards and Natterjack Toads. We dragged the brash into quite a number of large piles, ready for burning when the weather was drier. 


Habitat management task, Sunday December 11th, 2016

Posted on Tuesday 13th December, 2016

NMARG's first habitat management task of the Winter, 2016-17 was attended by 10 volunteers, when we successfully cleared scrub and small trees from an important fixed dune Sand Lizard site on the Sefton Coast, in conjunction with the Sefton Coast and Countryside Ranger Service. Some of the scrub removed was regrowth and suckers, but it is essential to keep on top of it, in order to prevent the scrub from re-invading cleared sites. The work will be continued during subsequent tasks this Winter.



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Contact us

Contact Us

Mike Brown (chair)


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