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:
CORNWALL REPTILE AND AMPHIBIAN GROUP (CRAG)
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2018
To be held in Room C10 of the Durrell Building of
Cornwall College Newquay, Wildflower Lane, , Trenance Gardens
Newquay TR7 2LZ
at 6:00pm on Tuesday, 9th October 2018.
6:00pm at Cornwall College, Newquay
CRAG are holding out next meeting this Tuesday and welcome new and existing members. An email has been sent to members with full details. Come along to hear what your local ARG has been doing and have your say.
Email Nicola.email@example.com for more information.
Saturday from 10:00-14:00
CRAG will be helping residents and volunteers at Treloggan Doorstep Green who have worked tirelessly over the last few years to restore the pond. We plan to dig out the silted stream to increase the water flow to the pond.
Bring gloves, secateurs and spades if you have them. Wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Bring lunch and drinks.
If you would like to join us, please contact our trip leader Nicola Morris: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 4th May 10am-4pm
The annual BioBlitz held at Penryn Campus. A BioBlitz is an event in which people attempt to record as many different species as they can within a set time limit. There will be several stalls and stands from environmental organisations, including CRAG. Paul Diamond has very kindly offered to run our stand but if anyone else is keen to help please do get in touch. Parking is free and families are welcome.
Saturday 4th May 1:30pm to 3pm
Come and join Treloggan Community Action Group at the pond for our first pond dipping session of the year!
All families welcome. Please make sure children wear old clothes as getting a bit wet and mucky is part of the fun!
At Treloggan Doorstep Green, Quintrell Downs.
CRAG are holding our next indoor meeting at 6pm on Tuesday 7th May at Cornwall College Newquay and welcome new and existing members. Email Nicola.email@example.com for more information. Come along and find out what we've been getting up to, and how you can get involved.
Saturday 11th May 8.30am-11am
North Cornwall coast, exact location to by supplied on booking. Parking charge applies.
Please make sure you have completed your Volunteer Working Agreement before you book on to any of our events and trips.You MUST have an online form completed in order to be covered under our insurance and you will not be able to attend without it. Contact our member secretary for more information.
Clothing - please wear clothing appropriate for the weather conditions, check the forecast! Wear wellies and bring drinking water and sun cream.
Equipment - a spade and gardening gloves (if you have them) and a camera.
Booking is essential and spaces are limited so please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.
Please also provide a contact number, as if the weather is terrible, the event will be cancelled.
Meeting point: National Trust car park at Carnewas (by Bedruthan Steps) grid ref: SW 850 690 Post code: PL27 7UW
What to bring: clothing appropriate for the weather conditions. Wellies are essential. Drinking water.
We have been invited to join Jon Cripps, Cornwall Wildlife Trust Ranger, at Penhale Sand Dunes on Saturday 2nd November. We will be talking about the upcoming Dynamic Dunes Project and new Countryside Stewardship Scheme and planned habitat work. After lunch we have the chance to help with scrub control at this important site for reptiles and amphibians including adders.
Please make sure you have completed your Volunteer Workers Agreement (VWA) on ARGweb. This can be found in the section marked 'My CRAG account'. This is so we have your most up to date emergency contact details. If this is not done unfortunately the offer of volunteer work cannot be accepted.
MEETING TIME: 10.00am
South Gate entrance to MOD training area, on a sharp bend in the road just to the north of Mount, to the west of Treworthen Farm. SW783567.
Please wear clothing appropriate for the weather conditions and wear WELLIES. Bring waterproofs, lunch, gloves and loppers/secateurs/bow saw if you have them.
To book a place please email trip leader Nicola Morris - email@example.com
For general enquiries please contact:
Chair - Nicola Morris - firstname.lastname@example.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.
Secretary - Katy Nicholls - email@example.com
Scientific Officer - Stephen Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer - Mark Nicholson
Social Media Officer - Dylan Beckham
Media Officers - Kirk Mason, Mike Tyrrell
Web Officer - Laura Fox
Other committee members
Paul Diamond - email@example.com
Stuart Edwards - firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward Norkett - email@example.com
Upcoming events will be listed here.