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, sometimes in partnership with other ARG groups, Natural England staff and volunteers 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




Spring is here and our lizards are emerging from hibernation !

Posted on Saturday 26th March, 2022

The warm sunny weather we have experienced lately has tempted many lizards out from their Winter sleep. Common Lizards were already seen on the Sefton Coast earlier in March, but male and juvenile Sand Lizards have also been seen during the past couple of weeks. The females will mostly only be appearing in April however!

Habitat Management tasks during the Winter months 2021-2022, provisional dates

Posted on Thursday 4th November, 2021

NMARG has now arranged provisional dates for a series of volunteer habitat management tasks at several sites in the Ainsdale area during the coming Winter. All the tasks will involve the removal of invasive scrub and small trees. The dates are as follows:


Saturday, 27th November, 2021

Sunday, 12th December, 2021

Saturday, 8th January, 2022

Sunday, 23rd January, 2022

Saturday, 5th February, 2022

Sunday, 20th February, 2022


Further details will appear in the Events section nearer the times of each event.


Habitat Management tasks during the Winter months 2021-2022

Posted on Wednesday 29th September, 2021

NMARG are hoping to undertake a number of volunteer habitat management tasks during the coming Winter months, mainly involving clearing scrub from our important Sand Lizard sites on the Sefton Coast. More details will appear here in the coming weeks.

Sand Lizard breeding success 2021

Posted on Wednesday 29th September, 2021

Sand Lizards surveys were up and running again on the Sefton Coast in 2021 for our licensed surveyors, following the severe restrictions due to Covid last year, but we have been disappointed so far by the lack of hatchlings spotted, indicating that 2021 may have been a poor breeding year for our Sand Lizards, or at least for successful hatching of their eggs. This may be due to two weather factors - the very cold May and the very dull, wet August. The hatchlings which have been seen in September were mostly quite small, indicating late hatching. Hopefully we will have some good weather in the coming weeks, to enable those hatchlings to feed and bulk up before entering hibernation.


Posted on Wednesday 18th March, 2020

Unfortunately, no NMARG events will be organised at present, due to the covid-19 virus outbreak.



Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

Rixton Claypits scrub clearance for GCN

Mon 2nd March, 2015

ARGSL and Bangor University students are jointly organising a scrub clearance day, in order to open up a Great Crested Newt breeding pond, at Rixton Claypits SAC/SSSI, near Warrington, on Monday, March 2nd., meeting at 10 a.m. Anyone from NMARG who is interested in going along and helping with this is very welcome. Please contact David Orchard at if you are intending to take part in this important habitat management work, a change from sand dune habitat management !

Detailed directions to the site are below:-

By car from Warrington - follow Manchester Road (A57) out of Woolston, across both M6 roundabouts for approximately mile. Continue past Moat Lane, past the visitor centre about 400 yards on the left, and another 120 yards on the left is the car park. Please note that the visitors centre is set back 30m from the road and not well signposted, so it is easily missed.
From Cadishead- follow Liverpool Road (A57) through the traffic lights at Warburton Bridge Road and continue for another 420 metres. The car park is on the right between Chapel Lane and Moat Lane.

Please park on the main car park, not in front of the visitors centre.

Dragging and Burning

Sat 7th March, 2015

The next NMARG habitat management task, on Saturday, March 7th, will involve trying to dispose of the remaining brash from previous tasks on the Sefton Coast, by dragging it to the fire sites and burning it. We will also be doing some removal of small Sea Buckthorn and Poplar suckers and regrowth. This task may carry on the following day (Sunday). Further details will be available at a later date.

Reptile and Amphibian Survey Training

Fri 24th April, 2015

A reptile and amphibian survey training day has been organised by 'The Biodiverse Society', a partnership project between Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Lancashire Environmental Records Network and Merseyside Biobank. This is in conjunction with NMARG, and will take place on Friday, April 24th, at Ainsdale Discovery Centre, between 1 - 5 pm. The aim is to encourage and assist volunteers with monitoring and surveying wildlife, and this session will mainly be 'in the classroom', with practical sessions to follow at a later dater. Anyone interested in attending, please contact Joanne Brierley-Moore, the Project Manager, at

Green Angels Bioblitz event Liverpool

Fri 14th August, 2015 - Sat 15th August, 2015

The Green Angels are holding a Bioblitz at the old Liverpool Festival Gardens site on Friday, August 14th, 7.30 - 11 pm and on the following day, Saturday, August 15th, 10 am - 4 pm. This will include some pond dipping sessions, searching for amphibians, as well as a bat walk on the Friday evening and small mammal trapping. If anyone needs further details, please contact Mike Brown on

Rixton Claypits tree and scrub control for GCN

Sat 14th November, 2015

This event has been organised by South Lancs Amphibian and Reptile Group, but if any of our members would like to take part, they will be very welcome. The work involves tree and scrub removal in order to improve the site, which is a very important breeding site for Great Crested Newts. Anyone who would like to help in this task, please contact for further details.

scrub control, Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve

Sun 29th November, 2015

This event has been cancelled, due to severe weather warning of possible storm force winds

scrub control on the Sefton Coast

Sun 20th December, 2015

This event will involve the clearance of invasive Sea Buckthorn at Ainsdale, on the Sefton Coast, in order to improve the habitat for Natterjack Toads and Sand Lizards

Scrub control on the Sefton Coast

Sun 24th January, 2016

NMARG's next habitat management task is on Sunday, January 24th, when we will be removing scrub which is invading valuable Sand Lizard and Natterjack Toad habitat in the Sefton Coast sand dunes. For further details, please email Mike Brown at

Habitat management task, Ainsdale

Sun 31st January, 2016

Our next habitat management task takes place on Sunday, January 31st, at Ainsdale, on the Sefton Coast. For further details, please email Mike Brown on

Habitat management - scrub control

Sun 14th February, 2016

Our next habitat management task will involve clearing Sea Buckthorn and other scrub which has regrown following large scale clearance two winters ago at a site on the Sefton Coast which is important for Sand Lizards and Natterjack Toads. For further details, please email Mike Brown on 

Contact us

Contact Us

Mike Brown (chair)


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