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 mb001b9658@blueyonder.co.uk

 

News

News

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.


Coronavirus

Posted on Wednesday 18th March, 2020

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


Events

Events

Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

Third scrub clearance task of the Winter 2019-2020 on the Sefton Coast

Sun 8th December, 2019 - Sun 8th December, 2019

Our third habitat management task of the current Autumn and Winter period will take place on Sunday 8th December, when we will again be clearing invasive scrub for the benefit of rare Sand Lizards and Natterjack Toads, this time at the Southport  end of the Sefton Coast dune system. This task will again be together with staff and volunteers from the Gems in the Dunes Project. For further details, please contact Mike Brown, by email, at mb001b9658@blueyonder.co.uk.


First 2020 habitat management task

Sat 11th January, 2020 - Sat 11th January, 2020

Our first volunteer habitat management task of 2020 takes place on Saturday, January 11th, in the Ainsdale Sand Dunes LNR. The task will involve the removal of invasive scrub, especially Sea Buckthorn, which is invading vital Sand Lizard and Natterjack Toad habitat and will again be held jointly with the Gems in the Dunes project volunteers and staff. For further information about this task, please contact gems-in-the-dunes@arc-trust.com

 


Second January habitat management task

Sun 26th January, 2020 - Sun 26th January, 2020

Our second volunteer habitat management task of 2020 will take place on Sunday, 26th January, this time at a fixed dune site in Ainsdale where scrub clearance is needed in order to maintain and improve the habitat for Sand Lizards. For further details, please contact Mike Brown by email, at mb001b9658@blueyonder.co.uk

 


Next February Habitat Management Task

Sun 23rd February, 2020 - Sun 23rd February, 2020

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NMARG's next habitat management task will take place at Hightown dunes on Sunday, 23rd February, when we will be clearing scrub with the aim of encouraging the spread of Sand Lizards in this area. This task follows on from the one we undertook at Hightown earlier in the Winter. For further details, please email Mike Brown on mb001b9658@blueyonder.co.uk


Next Habitat Management Task

Sat 7th March, 2020 - Sat 7th March, 2020

NMARG's next habitat management task will take place on Saturday, March 7th, when we will be clearing poplar suckers from a SSSI site at Ainsdale, in order to maintain an open sunny habitat for Sand Lizards, The task will again be held jointly with the Gems in the Dunes project staff and volunteers. For further details, please email Mike Brown on mb001b9658@blueyonder.co.uk

 


Habitat Management Task Cancelled

Sat 27th November, 2021 - Sat 27th November, 2021

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel the task on Saturday, November 27th, due to the Amber Warning of danger from high winds from the Met Office.


Birch Clearance on the Ainsdale LNR

Thu 2nd December, 2021 - Thu 2nd December, 2021

An addtional event is being organised for Thursday, December 2nd, when we will be helping the Rangers to remove invading birch trees from the Ainsdale LNR. All members of NMARG are welcome to participate. For further details, please contact Mike Brown on mb001b9658@blueyonder.co.uk


scrub clearance at Ainsdale

Thu 9th December, 2021 - Thu 9th December, 2021

On Thursday December 9th, we will be helping to clear an area of invasive birch trees on the Ainsdale LNR, together with volunteers from Avian Ecology and Network Rail. Members of NMARG are very welcome to participate. We will be meeting by the Ainsdale Discovery Centre at 10am. For further details, please contact Mike Brown on mb001b9658@blueyonder.co.uk


Habitat Management at Ainsdale

Sun 12th December, 2021 - Sun 12th December, 2021

On Sunday, December 12th, we will be carrying on with the clearance of scrub and small trees on an important Sand Lizard site at Ainsdale. All members are welcome to help out. For further details, please contact Mike Brown on mb001b9658@blueyonder.co.uk


Habitat Management at Ainsdale

Sun 9th January, 2022 - Sun 9th January, 2022

Our first habitat management task of the New Year will take place on Sunday 9th January, when we will be carrying on with the scrub and small tree clearance we started in December, at an important Sand Lizard site at Ainsdale. This task will now take place on the Sunday instead of the Saturday, because of forecast very wet weather on the Saturday. For further details, please email Mike Brown on mb001b9658@blueyonder.co.uk


Contact us

Contact Us

Mike Brown (chair)

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