Avon Reptile and Amphibian Group (ARAG)
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About us

About Us

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 info@arag.org.uk


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 info@arag.org.uk   

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.



Toad Patrols

Posted on Tuesday 7th April, 2015

Toad Patrols are now winding down across our area but we are still checking on sites each night for toads that may be returning from their breeding lakes.

ARAG Toad Patrols take place in Fishponds, Chew Valley & Bitton and we support independent toad patrols in Bath & Portishead too as well as at other sites throughout the former county of Avon.

To join up with a toad patrol please visit the relevant facebook page. You can download the risk assessment and insurance forms from there. You can then email the completed insurance form to info@arag.org.uk

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/ 

Wild at Chew Day 20th August 2011

Posted on Wednesday 17th August, 2011

After a very successful event in 2009, Bristol Water have organised another Wild at Chew Day. This is a fantastic opportunity to come and learn about the bugs, birds and beasts living in and around the margins of Chew Valley Lake. Bristol Water staff will also be on hand to discuss their management programmes currently being undertaken to preserve these habitats and species.

ARAG has conducted surveys around the lake and will be present on the day to chat to members of the public about amphibians and reptiles, in particular how to identify them, where to look and what you can do to help protect them. An excellent event for budding herpetologists!

If you are able to attend then we shall see you anytime from 10am at:

Woodford Lodge,
Chew Stoke,
BS40 8XH

I look forward to seeing you all there!

NARRS Training Event

Posted on Wednesday 13th July, 2011

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!

NARRS Training

Posted on Wednesday 9th March, 2011

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 iain.adderton@grontmij.co.uk

Surveys in Avon

Posted on Thursday 20th January, 2011
Several areas have been surveyed in the region by ARAG volunteers, including old cemeteries in Bristol and Bath, Chew Valley Lake, Cheddar Gorge as well as part of the Mendips. One cemetery was found to contain loads of Slow-worms while these and Common Lizard were also found at a site in the Mendips. It was also a good year for snakes with Iain Adderton and Andy Ryder catching two Adders and two Grass Snakes at various sites. Unfortunately, Grass Snake numbers were not as impressive as those recorded at the same site in 2008, although it is hoped they will be better in 2010.



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Toad Patrols

Toad Patrols

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:

Bath - https://www.facebook.com/toadrescuebath

Portishead - https://www.facebook.com/portisheadfrogs/ 

Pill - https://www.facebook.com/robdharvey/

Cameley & Clutton - https://www.facebook.com/groups/282369559920106 

Toad Patrol Forms

Toad Patrol Forms

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 bittontoads@arag.org.uk




Paulton Toad Patrol - please email the insurance form to paultontoads@gmail.com





Photo gallery

Photo Gallery

Apr 18, 2015
Jan 23, 2011
Jan 23, 2011
Jan 23, 2011

Contact us

Contact Us

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

Upcoming events will be listed here.

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