Cornwall Reptile & Amphibian Group
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About us

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 and that includes non-natives such as terrapins.

News

News

Events Postponed Until Further Notice

Posted on Thursday 19th March, 2020

In light of the coronavirus outbreak all group surveys and meetings will be postponed until further notice. This is in line with Government advice and that issued by ARG UK. Please follow the link below to read our latest advice:

https://www.arguk.org/get-involved/news/please-read-our-latest-advice-concerning-the-covid-19-outbreak

Thank you to those who kindly offered to lead survey trips over the coming weeks. Whilst we all want to head out and enjoy the season we can't put anyone at risk and the health and safety of our members is paramount. Providing members follow current advice on coronavirus and our lone working procedures Site Champions can continue to monitor local sites but all group work is suspended.Wishing you good health and I look forward to seeing you as soon as we are able to meet for a survey.

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CRAG Pond Dip Kit and Goonhavern School Pond Clearance

Posted on Wednesday 24th July, 2019

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.

20190322 142043 Mark Jul2019

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.

20190503 154215 Mark Jul2019

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.


Ninja Turtle Races to Protect Amphibians and Reptiles

Posted on Wednesday 1st May, 2019

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 brave the rain at Treloggan Doorstep Green

Posted on Monday 10th December, 2018
A big thank you to the volunteers from CRAG and Treloggan Doorstep Green Residents Association who braved the rain on Saturday 8th December to maintain the Treloggan Doorstep pond!
 

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.


Penhale Outing 2018

Posted on Saturday 26th May, 2018

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.

 


Events

Events

Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

CRAG Meeting

Tue 28th February, 2017

6:45pm - The Hawkins Arms, Zelah

Regular group meeting. All members welcome, as well as those who are considering becoming a member. Come and find out what the group is getting up to and share your opinion!


CRAG Outing to Windmill Farm

Sun 26th March, 2017

1:00pm-3:00pm - Windmill Farm Nature Reserve

Directions:
Windmill Farm is 1 mile north of Lizard village. Take the A3083 (Helston to Lizard) towards Lizard village and turn right at the 'Wild Camping' sign. Follow the lane till you see the windmill. Park in the open area at the end of the lane.

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If you can, please let us know if you are able to come by emailing our secretary, Nicola Morris.


Marram Planting at Constantine 10am-3.30pm

Sat 13th May, 2017

CRAG will be undertaking a marram grass planting task at Constantine Bay. The task will not only help stabilise the exposed sand, but create the foundations to restore the dune which will in turn provide valuable and improved habitat for the lizard population at this site.
Meeting at Constantine Bay Car park. Nearest postcode; PL28 8JJ (Map Ref SW 859 745). The car park is small so you may need to park at the top of the lane opposite the surf shop (7 minute walk to the car park).
Bring lunch, water, gloves, small hand trowel (important!), spade if you have one, appropriate clothing for the weather conditions and sun cream.
You do not need to stay for the duration, any time you can offer will be greatly appreciated. After the task (weather permitting), Helen will lead an informal walk and talk session for CRAG members on site with the hope of spotting the odd lizard or two, you are welcome to join and quiz her on all things lizard related.
Directions: Take the A39 to Winnard’s Perch, take the B3274 towards Padstow and St Merryn and then follow signs to St. Merryn. From there, go towards Trevose Golf Club, but don’t make the turn to the golf club, stay on the road that hairpins to the left, on to by the small post box, sign posted right to Constantine Bay, on to the very end of the lane to the car park.
If you would like to join CRAG on this task or require any further information please email Helen Fearnley (Trip Leader) helenfearnley1@gmail.commailto:helenfearnley1@gmail.com>. Please note there is limited mobile reception on site, so please make sure you arrive on time, or contact Helen ahead of the task day, for the specific work location if you plan joining us later in the day.


Reptile surveys at Penhale Sand Dunes 9.15am-11.30am

Sat 20th May, 2017

This site is closed to public access so relatively undisturbed and a great place to see reptiles and other wildlife. We will meet at the gates to the dunes which will be locked once we enter so you must arrive on time. Nearest post code: - TR8 5PZ This takes you to a nearby farm. Drive past the farm until you reach a sharp left hand bend. The gate will be directly in front of you. Grid ref SW 78328 56670
If you would like to join CRAG at this event please contact Nicola Morris (Trip Leader)nicola.morris@cornwall.ac.ukmailto:nicola.morris@cornwall.ac.uk>


CRAG Meeting

Tue 30th May, 2017

6:45pm - The Hawkins Arms, Zelah

Regular group meeting. All members welcome, as well as those who are considering becoming a member. Come and find out what the group is getting up to and share your opinion!


Survey and recording at Carn Moor Nature Reserve, Goonhavern

Sat 30th September, 2017

10.00am-12.00pm

CRAG will be running a reptile survey and recording field trip to Carn Moor Nature Reserve, nr Goonhavern.  A lovely site to see reptiles.

Directions: Due to the limited parking near the site we will meet at Goonhavern Garden Centre TR4 9QQ and car share from there to the site nearby.

If you would like to join CRAG at this event please contact Steve Green (Trip Leader) stephen.green@cornwall.ac.uk


Cornwall Reptile and Amphibian Group AGM

Mon 9th October, 2017

The Cornwall Reptile and Amphibian Group AGM will be held at Cornwall College Newquay, Wildflower Lane, Trenance Gardens, Newquay TR7 2LZ on Monday 9th October at 6pm. If you haven’t been to a meeting before now is your chance to meet everyone and find out what you can do to help our reptiles and amphibians in Cornwall.

We are a friendly group and would love to see you. If you aren’t able to make it but would like to contribute something for discussion do let me know.


Outing to Bedruthan Steps

Sun 25th March, 2018

We are having an outing to Bedruthan Steps, where 22 tins are in place in an area quite full of interesting reptiles. 

Meet at 11:00am in the National Trust Carnewas carpark, which is close to Bedruthan Steps. The nearest postcode is PL27 7UW and grid reference SW 850 690.

Wellies are advised to get through the gorse, and there are also wet areas.

If you would like to join us, please contact Sarah Stevens, email address SarahE.Stevens@nationaltrust.org.uk, tel 01208 863821


Reptile and Amphibian Surveying Workshop

Sat 28th April, 2018

In conjunction with the Environmental Record Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS), we are leading a one-day workshop on the survey techniques and identification of the reptiles and amphibians found in our county. The workshop will include a field trip to a nearby site known for its herpetofauna. For complete beginners through to more experienced practitioners who need a brush up and structured CPD.

Location: The Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Allet, Truro

Cost: £25 for most people, £50 for those working for commercial or government organisations

Booking is essential. To download a booking form, go to http://erccis.org.uk/Events or email laura.fox@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk.

 


Reptile Survey at Penhale Dunes

Sun 20th May, 2018

Sun, 20/05/2018 - 10:00am - 1:00pm

This is a joint event with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Find out how to survey for our native lizards and snakes. As long as the weather is reasonably mild, we expect the reptiles at this site to co-operate in being studied.

The Reserve Ranger has asked us to put a maximum of 20 on the bookings. Attendance will be by booking only. CWT Reception will take all the bookings and send directions. To book, call (01872) 273939.


Membership

Membership

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. If you are applying for membership for the first time please download a membership application form at the bottom of the page and return to our secretary at katycragsecretary@gmail.com .

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

 

Application form for new members.

docxCRAG_2020_Membership_Application_Form_Blank.docx

Contact us

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact:

Chair - Nicola Morris - nicola.morris@arguk.org

 

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.

 

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Secretary - Katy Nicholls -  katycragsecretary@gmail.com

Scientific Officer - Stephen Green - stephen.green@cornwall.ac.uk

Treasurer - Mark Nicholson

Web Officer - Laura Fox

Social Media Officer - Becky Turner

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.


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