CRAG - Cornwall Reptile & Amphibian Group
CRAG aims to increase awareness and action on behalf of Cornwall's reptiles (snakes and lizards) and amphibians (frogs, toads and newts)
Its activities include
The group is open to anyone who would like to be involved with amphibian and reptile conservation in Cornwall.
A small annual subscription of £5.00 is payable by all Members, except students who can currently become a member for free. New members are welcome to apply to join at any time. You can download a membership form here: Download a CRAG Membership Form
CRAG is affiliated to the Amphibian & Reptile Groups of UK.
Please record all sightings of reptiles and amphibians seen in and around Cornwall and that includes non-natives such as terrapins.
Earlier this year, CRAG invested in a set of nets, trays and other pond dipping equipment for amphibian surveys and educational activities. CRAG members have already used the kit extensively at various events, including regular community pond dips at Treloggan, Newquay, led by Teri Nicholls.
Meanwhile, Mark and Tricia Nicholson have been leading a project at Goonhavern School, which their granddaughter attends, to restore the school’s disappearing pond and bring it back into use. Pond dipping sessions using the CRAG kit have been invaluable in generating staff and pupil enthusiasm, awareness and involvement.
The pond was choked by reeds, smothered by the invasive non-native Crassula weed and half-covered by brambles, leaving hardly any water. Gradual clearance of this vegetation has brought the pond back to life, with each dipping day revealing a greater abundance and diversity of creatures.
Dealing with Crassula will be an ongoing issue, as this species grows on both water and land and is very difficult to control. It can recolonise a pond – or colonise another pond if transferred – from a small leaf fragment. All weed removed from the pond is being composted on-site in black plastic bags. If totally deprived of sunlight, it should die after several months.
To avoid the spread of invasive plants and diseases from one pond to another, the kit is thoroughly checked for plant fragments, cleaned and dried between events and outings.
Dr Steve Green, CRAG Scientific Officer, completed the London Marathon in a time of 4 hrs 38 mins, wearing the costume people voted for on his Giving page - a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle! So far he has raised over £2000 for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, not including additional Gift Aid, and this amount is still going up. There is still time to donate so please do visit his fundraising page. Stephen Green London Marathon 2019. Congratulations Steve! A fantastic achievement.
Volunteers dug out the silted stream and removed fly tipped rubbish, allowing water to flow into the pond to improve habitat quality and preserve this valuable site. The pond is home to a variety of aquatic invertebrates and spawning amphibians such as frogs, toads and newts.
This pond is of significant interest as it provides refuge to our native plants and animals such as water forget-me-not and amphibians. The Doorstep Green is also an invaluable educational and recreational space for local residents to enjoy.
In Britain we are losing many of our ponds due to pressures from urban development, pollution and agricultural drainage. These pressures can lead to reduced habitat quality, fragmentation of habitats and loss of the land entirely.
Thanks again to the volunteers, it was great to see both new and familiar faces, we hope to see you soon on future trips!
Want to get involved? Contact us to find out how you can help the reptiles and amphibians of Cornwall and their habitats.
Thank you to everyone who showed up to the Joint CRAG/CWT outing to Penhale on Sunday 20th May 2018.
The weather was ideal for the visit. Our small group was treated to sights of no less than 22 slow worms, as well as a grass snake and a small toad.
Special thanks to Cornwall Wildlife Trust ranger, Jon Cripps, who was also able to point out some of the rare flora and fauna that make this a very unique location.
The CRAG AGM 2017 took place at Cornwall College, Newquay on Monday 9th October.
Successes over the past year include a well-attended trip to Carn Moor, the setting of tins and monitoring at Tregantle (nr Saltash) and a surge in new members thanks to CRAG's attendance at various events including the Freshers Fair at Cornwall College, Newquay.
Nicola Morris and Steve Green chose to step down from their secretary positions due to pressure from other commitments. Jade Clayson has taken on general secretary duties, while Ruth Corbett will be the new Membership Secretary.
Helen gave us an update on her work with Sand Lizards and their habitat management.
We discussed the situation and requirements of sites we currently monitor and suggested new sites we could take on.
Full minutes available:
Places are limited, so please contact Simone Breckell firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to register.
Please forward this information to anyone you know would be interested.
Cornwall College Newquay
CRAG - visit to Bissoe reserve Sat nav: TR4 8QZ Grid ref: SW772 414 Hope you can make it. Please let me know if you will be attending. Email: email@example.com
Meet at Swanpool car park (near the crazy golf) at 09:30am
Jack Perks has kindly offered to show us around the site.
The meeting will last for about 2 hours
Please have a look at some of Jack's photos from previous outings, on his website
Please make a big effort to attend, as we need to encourage members to arrange further outings around the county.
Tremough campus are holding a Bio-blitz to record as much wildlife for the site as they. CRAG already has an event at Swanpool on this day, but would be great if members were able to drop into Tremough to help locate and identify any reptiles and amphibians on campus.
It may be possible for some CRAG members to attend both events, as it would be good for the groups focus to have some input and hopefully get some records.
Meet at Argal car park at 10:30am (there is a pay and display parking system). Meet with CRAG members and hopefully see some amphibians and reptiles.
This will be the first task day in a project to restore/enhance an area of habitat, particularly for the benefit of adders. Basset's Cove is on the coast close to Tehidy Country Park. Meet at Bassett's Cove car park at 09:30. Please bring along bowsaws, loppers, mattocks, slashers, shears, spades and forks if you can. There will be a limited number of extra tools around. Also bring a packed lunch and dress for the weather on the day. Any further details or questions contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
This will be a presentation on amphibian and reptile survey methods. As survey work is such a key part of CRAG's reason for existence, I hope that as many members as possible will come along to find out more and/or (if you are already fully familiar with the survey methodologies) to contribute to the discussion. Further details to follow.
We will be holding an activity planning evening at the Butchers Arms, Zelah. 18th March 2014
Meeting starts at 7pm sharp.
Please contact the Secretary if you are not a member but would like to attend.
This previously popular outting allows members the opportunity to enjoy surveying the extremely unique Special Area of Conservation that is Penhale Sand Dunes. We shall be conducting reptile surveys on a site known for adder, grass snakes and slow worms. As well as surveying for reptiles we will be checking the ponds for amphibians with chances of finding common toad, common frog and palmate newt.
Please meet by the South Gate near Treworthen Farm, Cubert (SW783567) just before 10am. Jon Cripps the Ranger will meet us and let us in to the MOD area. Anyone arriving after this will not have access.
This is a members only event however non-members can join on the day at just £5. Student membership is free. Stay tuned for more exciting events!
For general enquiries please contact:
Chair - Nicola Morris - email@example.com
For question relating to the ecology of amphibians and reptiles in Cornwall please contact our Scientific Officer (see details below).
CRAG is always looking for new volunteers to help with habitat management and species monitoring. If you would like to get involved, please contact our Chair.
Secretary - Katy Nicholls - firstname.lastname@example.org
Scientific Officer - Stephen Green - email@example.com
Treasurer - Mark Nicholson
Social Media Officer - Dylan Beckham
Media Officers - Kirk Mason, Mike Tyrrell
Web Officer - Laura Fox
Other committee members
Paul Diamond - firstname.lastname@example.org
Stuart Edwards - email@example.com
Edward Norkett - firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming events will be listed here.