ARAG was first set up in 1995 and has become firmly established since 2006. It seeks to promote reptile and amphibian conservation throughout the counties of Bristol, South Glos, Bath & North East Somerset and North Somerset. It aims to improve the knowledge of the distribution of our native herpetofauna, educate the public and increase the awareness of the challenges faced by this group of animals.
ARAG is committed to achieving these aims through surveys, undertaking practical conservation projects, and assisting with local toad patrols.
If you are keen to join the group and participate in activities then please complete the joining slip and email this to email@example.com
You can also join our Facebook group by clicking on this link - https://www.facebook.com/groups/AvonRAG/
Please note that simply joining the Facebook group will not give you membership to the full group. For this you will need to complete the joining slip and email this to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are visiting this site having seen a media clip or press release about toad patrols then hopefully we can help point you in the right direction. Please click on the Toad Patrols tab above.
Saturday 26th March saw ARAG run NARRS survey training at ELm Farm, a very apt location having strong commitments to local conservation.
Throughout the day, volunteers were introduced to many aspects of collecting good survey data. The first section covered the importance of working with landowners, site selection and risk assessment. This was followed by a very visual guide to the challenges in recognising our native amphibians from spawn through to adults (including some non natives). Identifying reptiles was shown to be less challenging, however recognising their range of habitats and spotting them within can be difficult for a first-time surveyor, but participants were reassured this would improve with practise in the field! Many surveying techniques were covered in detail including visual searches, torching, refugia, effects of seasonal and daily timing of surveys. The importance of correctly recording herpetological observations and other sightings of interest, were also highlighted.
After training everyone was invited on a walk around the farm to absorb the beautiful surroundings. Approximately 10% of the land belonging to the farm is preserved or deliberately planted for the benefit of native wildlife, some of which we were lucky to see! A couple of the ponds on-site were also investigated and found to be teeming with a diversity of invertebrates and toadspawn with a few newts swimming for cover from the ever-busy toads. A common lizard was also spotted nearby in addition to buzzards, hares and ammonites! There was also the opportunity to see refuges and nest boxes for owls, bats and doormice.
A huge thanks to ARAG for organising, Elm Farm for hosting and all those who attended for making it such an enjoyable as well as educational day. It's great to know there will be a number of squares surveyed in the Avon area this spring and summer!
ARAG is intending to conduct the training as part of the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme on the 26th March at Elm Farm, Burnett. More details will follow once the details have been confirmed.
The training will be free to all those who have registered to survey a designated NARRS square but £10 for those who have not. All funds will be used by ARAG to cover costs of this and some future events.
If you are interested please send an email to email@example.com
If you are visiting this site having seen a media clip or press release about toad patrols then hopefully we can help point you in the right direction.
For patrols run by ARAG (Fishponds, Chew Valley, Bitton & Paulton) you can download the risk assessment & insurance forms by visiting the next tab - Toad Patrol Forms. You cannot join the group until you have completed the insurance forms so please do this before getting in touch.
For other patrols in the area please hit the link to the virtual map below. This will direct you to your closest toad patrol and will put you in touch with the Patrol Leader for that site.
To join one of the patrols run by ARAG you must complete an insurance form by visiting the next tab - Toad Patrol Forms.
If you use Facebook then you can also visit/join the Facebook group for the patrol of your choosing. Joining the Facebook groups alone will not add you as a member of that toad patrol group. Visit the next tab for this.
Fishponds Toad Patrol - https://www.facebook.com/groups/FishpondsToads/
Chew Toad Patrol - https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChewToads/
Bitton Toad Patrol - https://www.facebook.com/groups/BittonToads/
Paulton Toad Patrol - https://www.facebook.com/groups/paultontoads
To get in touch with other local patrols via Facebook please follow the links below:
Portishead - https://www.facebook.com/portisheadfrogs/
Cameley & Clutton - https://www.facebook.com/groups/282369559920106
Join a Toad Patrol by Completing the Forms Below:
We are looking for volunteers to help with our annual toad patrols. Patrols take place nightly in early spring each year. If you are interested in helping with the patrol then please download the attached files for the relevant patrol below and email the completed insurance form to the email address specified below. You cannot join a patrol until you have read the risk assessment & completed an insurance form so please do this before getting in touch. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) file should answer the majority of questions you may have and further guidance will be provided when you start to patrol. Please read the FAQs before asking any questions as its a very busy time of year for our Patrol Leaders.
Fishponds Toad Patrol - please email the insurance form to Fishpondstoads@arag.org.uk
Chew Toad Patrol - please email the insurance form to Chewvalleytoads@arag.org.uk
Bitton Toad Patrol - please email the insurance form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Paulton Toad Patrol - please email the insurance form to email@example.com
Joining ARAG - To join please complete the attached ARAG Joining Slip and email this to Info@arag.org.uk Once approved you will be sent an email via our website.
You can also join/follow our Facebook page too. Please note that joining the Facebook group alone does not add you to our membership list for ARAG or for individual Toad Patrols.
Submitting Reptile & Amphibian Records - Please visit the Record A Sighting tab. You can submit your records directly from this tab. If you have seen a snake or lizard please also email Info@arag.org.uk
If you have seen large numbers of amphibians on roads in springtime in an area not covered by one of our Toad Patrols please email Info@arag.org.uk
General Enquiries & Rescues - if you need assistance or need to contact us about an amphibian or reptile rescue please contact Info@arag.org.uk Please note that we are a volunteer organisation with limited resources.
Upcoming events will be listed here.