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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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.
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 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.
Unfortunately, no NMARG events will be organised at present, due to the covid-19 virus outbreak.
Our next weekday habitat management task, clearing birch trees on the Ainsdale LNR grazing enclosure, will take place on Tuesday, February 1st, weather permitting. If you would like to help out, please contact Mike Brown for further details on email@example.com
NMARG's next weekend habitat management task will take place on Sunday, February 6th, when we will be clearing scrub from an area of inner dunes at Ainsdale, on the Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills LNR, to help open up and extend the habitat for a small colony of Sand Lizards. For further details, please contact Mike Brown on firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be continuing with our clearance of birch trees in the Ainsdale LNR grazing enclosure on Tuesday 15th February, weather permitting. For further details, please contact Mike Brown on email@example.com
Our next weekend volunteer habitat management task will take place on Sunday, 20th February, when we will be clearing scrub, especially Sea Buckthorn, at Queens Jubilee Nature Trail, near Southport. For further details, please contact Mike Brown, on firstname.lastname@example.org
Our next habitat management task at Queens Jubilee Nature Trail, near Southport, rearranged from the previous Sunday, is taking place on Sunday 27th February. For further details, please contact Mike Brown, by email, on email@example.com
We will be continuing with the tree and scrub clearance on the Ainsdale LNR grazing enclosure on Tuesday, 1st March. For further details, please contact Mike Brown on firstname.lastname@example.org
NMARG's next event is taking place this coming Sunday, when we will be undertaking scrub clearance at the Birkdale Corridor, part of the Aindsdale and Birkdale Sandhills LNR. For further details, please contact Mike Brown on email@example.com
On Sunday morning, March 27th, we are holding a lizard spotting morning on Queens Jubilee Nature Trail, near Southport, combined with a litter pick of the site. Discarded bottles and cans can be a death trap to lizards and small mammals, and we will be removing all we can find at the site. For further details, please contact Mike Brown, on firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be starting our annual bout of sand patch creation and sand patch renovation on Sunday, May 1st, in order to provide/improve areas of bare sand for Sand Lizards to lay their eggs in. For further details, please contact Mike Brown, on email@example.com
NMARG's next habitat management event is taking place on Sunday morning, May 8th, when we will be creating and maintaining sand patches for Sand Lizards at Ainsdale, combined with a bit of lizard spotting! for further details, please contact Mike Brown, by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Brown (chair)
Upcoming events will be listed here.