Cornwall Reptile & Amphibian Group
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About Us

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

  • Outings and meetings to develop members knowledge of the species found in the county
  • Participation in survey work
  • Practical conservation tasks
  • We also have social activities and get togethers with other specialist wildlife groups.

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 £1. New members are welcome to apply to join at any time. Click the Membership tab for full details.

CRAG is affiliated to the Amphibian & Reptile Groups of UK.

Please record all sightings of reptiles and amphibians seen in and around Cornwall - that includes non-natives such as terrapins. The easiest way to do this is to click on the 'Record a sighting' tab above and fill out the form. Although we love watching these animals from a safe distance, sadly not everyone appreciates them so please remember never to share exact locations on social media.



CRAG Photography Competition 2022

Posted on Tuesday 17th May, 2022

We are very excited to announce our 3rd annual photography competition!

Have you spotted one of our native reptile or amphibians in Cornwall?

Fancy yourself a photographer? Why not enter our free competition? We have categories for different age groups as we want to see everyone get involved!

Aside from a few rules which can be seen on our poster there is no theme so you can be as creative as you would like!

Prizes will be rewarded for the best!

IMG 20220516 091940 006


Posted on Sunday 27th March, 2022

The 2021 AGM was held online on 23rd March 2022. Normally this would have been done back in September but was delayed for various reasons.

Some of the main discussion points included:

  • The need for a replacement Chair since Nicola Morris stepped down for personal reasons. Stephen and Alice have been operating jointly as Acting Chairs and agreed to continue at least until the 2022 AGM in September.
  • Membership is strong and we would like to organise more events for members, though this will take a lot of consideration. We may decide to arrange a collaborative event with DRAG.
  • Our Zoom Pro subscription was a large expense last year but was useful during lockdown for our presentation series which we held online. We need to consider whether it would be worth re-subscribing or if similar talks could be done using Microsoft Teams.
  • Record Pool received a big surge of records from Cornwall last year. We should also consider other recording platforms such as ARGWeb and LivingRecord which allow structured effort surveys and regular monitoring to be recorded.
  • Carn Moor, one of our flagship sites where we have collected a lot of high-quality data, was impacted by the Saint Trails development project. This project has now stopped in activity and is not likely to continue. Habitat clearance had gone ahead which we knew would likely impact one of our main areas of interest. Emily who is the site champion has gathered fantastic data, recording every week in 2021. This data will help in doing a population estimate and survival detection of slow worms.
  • New refugia has bee placed at Breney Common and students are surveying the site as part of their honours project studies.
  • We have been invited to the Penryn BioBlitz. Alice will attend with a stall and run a pond dipping activity.
  • The Herpetofauna Workers meeting will be taking place in June, and it would be good to have some representation from Cornwall.


CRAG Pond Dipping Equipment

Posted on Sunday 16th January, 2022

Article written by T. Nicholls

Reading time: minute and a half.


netIn 2019, Cornwall Reptile and Amphibian Group was able to invest into a pond dipping kit with the money raised through membership fees and donations, allowing the group to provide outreach workshops to the public, schools and community groups in Cornwall.

Since its purchase the kit has been a fantastic tool in helping to engage the public with our native amphibian species and raising awareness of the importance of local ponds as aquatic ecosystems. The pond dipping events have also provided the space and opportunity to engage with wider conversations on climate change, pollution and habitat decline.

In addition to this outreach work the pond dipping kit is also helping to collect valuable data, which is then uploaded onto Record Pool, a website that collects data on herpetofauna in the UK, and ERCCIS (Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly). Contributing towards larger data sets locally and internationally for science and conservation.newts

Although much of these activities ceased during the Covid pandemic in 2020 to 2021, as restrictions begun to ease, the kit was soon back out of storage and is currently being used by local Duke Of Edinburgh students volunteering their Wednesday afternoons helping to eventmanage their local green and blue spaces.

So, if any CRAG members or volunteers would like to organise an event and use the pond dipping equipment please feel free to contact the Chair to organise collection of the kit. Just remember to follow the present Covid government guidelines and biosecurity procedures (check-clean-dry) to stop the spread of invasive aquatic species.


CRAG Photography Competition 2021 - Second Place

Posted on Sunday 16th January, 2022

We spoke with Patricia Turner about her winning shot!


How did you hear about the CRAG photography competition 2021?

I heard about the competition when I posted my adder picture on Facebook and a friend of mine who is into herpetology told me I should let CRAG know about the record.  I was told about the photo competition after reporting the sighting.  


What interests you about our native reptiles and amphibians?

I am from Texas and North Carolina, and just moved to England last year.  I have a MS degree in Entomology,  but I've always been fascinated by reptiles as well,  and gained a very healthy respect for them after being bitten by a baby copperhead a few years ago.  When I moved here,  I was very much wanting to see an adder, as I really love their patterns and red eyes.  There aren't nearly as many reptiles and amphibians here as there were in the US, so every sighting is super special.  


What were your thoughts when taking your photo?

When my husband spotted the adder on the rocks in a harbour in Cornwall,  I couldn't believe it. What a strange place to see an adder - but I was shaking with excitement while getting a good picture. I've always been into photography,  and what a great opportunity to take a picture of such a beautiful baby snake! 


How do you feel about winning? 

It is fantastic to win in this competition, and it is my wish that everyone understands how special these animals are, and can help conserve them, or at least do no harm.  Thank you very much! 

Adder Patricia Turner


CRAG Photography Competition 2021 Winner

Posted on Wednesday 12th January, 2022

Hey folks!

We thought that the winners of the Cornwall Reptile and Amphibian photography competition of 2021 should have their individual post. 

We spoke with Laura (@laulovesnature ) about her winning shot!


How did you hear about the CRAG photography competition 2021?

I heard about the CRAG photography competition on Instagram as I follow the group 🙂


What interests you about our native reptiles and amphibians?

I grew up in Cornwall and have always been fascinated by nature. I remember looking for amphibians and reptiles as a child, searching under stones and logs in the hope of finding frogs, toads or slow worms!  I've worked in the field of ecology for the past 16 years and have carried out numerous reptile surveys through my job. I'm always on the lookout, even more so since I developed a keen interest in macro photography during lockdown and discovered a population of Common Lizards in the Cornish hedges close to home. I spend a lot of time wandering up and down trying to spot them hidden amongst the vegetation! 


What were your thoughts when taking your photo?

This picture is one of the Common Lizards that lives in the hedges close to home. When taking the picture, my main thought was trying not to scare it off! 


How do you feel about  winning?

I'm really delighted to have won the adult category. So often you only get a fleeting glimpse of Common Lizards so it's lovely to showcase this wonderful creature.

 Laura no.1 reduced

Photo credit- Laura Snell (IG:laulovesnature)



Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

workshop on survey protocols for herp populations.

Fri 16th March, 2012

Places are limited, so please contact Simone Breckell as soon as possible to register.

Please forward this information to anyone you know would be interested.

Best wishes

Simone Breckell


Cornwall College Newquay

01637 857957

Visit to Bissoe Reserve

Sat 14th April, 2012

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:

CRAG outing at Swanpool with Jack Perks

Sat 16th June, 2012

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.

Bio-blitz at Tremough campus

Sat 16th June, 2012

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.

Argal & College Reservoirs

Sat 21st July, 2012

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.

Habitat Management at Bassett's Cove

Sun 18th November, 2012

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 .

Indoor Meeting at Tremough Campus (19:00 - 21:00)

Tue 4th December, 2012

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.

Group meeting

Tue 18th March, 2014

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.


Sat 31st May, 2014

Exeter University are holding their annual Bioblitz at Tremough campus. The event is intended to promote an interest in wildlife and many groups take part. CRAG have been invited and will be attending. We will also help support SINNG which are a local group focused on research into Non-native invasive species. This includes fauna and flora species.

Penhale Sand Dunes reptile and amphibian surveys

Sat 9th April, 2016

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!



Membership: Only £5 per year! 

A small annual subscription of £5.00 is payable by all Members, except students who can join for just £1 upon proof of studentship by using their student email. Subscribe online using PayPal or Standing Order.

New members are welcome to apply to join at any time. Members are eligible to join us on surveys, trips, take part in regular monitoring, practical conservation tasks and attend our social events. For insurance purposes you must be a member to take part in activities organised by CRAG.


Payment options



Contact us

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact: 


If you have any questions about reptiles or amphibians please contact our Science Officer below.


CRAG is always looking for new volunteers to help with habitat management and species monitoring. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch.




Acting Co-chair - Alice Pawlik -

Acting Co-chair - Stephen Green -

Science Officer - Stephen Green -

Treasurer - Mark Nicholson

Secretary - Ethan Henderson -

Social Media Officer - Ethan Henderson -

Volunteer Coordinator - Emily Menear

Data Officer - Becky Turner

Web Officer - Laura Fox






Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.

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