Devon Reptile & Amphibian Group (DRAG)
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About Us

DRAG aims to raise awareness and understanding of the conservation of amphibians and reptiles, in Devon and the UK, through reptile and amphibian recording, and habitat management work. DRAG aims to bring together people with an interest in reptiles and amphibians.

If you would like to find out more about reptiles and amphibians in Devon, ask for advice or want to get involved with events and surveys, please get in touch!

If you are interested in becoming a DRAG member, send us your details so we can add you to our mailing list for exciting events and activities that are not always advertised on the website.



Scaling up support: Cornwall to host amphibian and reptile conference

Posted on Friday 15th February, 2013

Supporters of frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards will be gathering in Cornwall on Sunday 3rd March for a South West regional meeting of Britain’s Amphibian and Reptile Groups.

Staged at Cornwall College Newquay, the conference is being organised jointly by the Cornwall Reptile and Amphibian Group (CRAG) – a specialist group within Cornwall Wildlife Trust – and the College’s Student Invasive Non-Native Group (SINNG).

The programme promises a lively mix of presentations on local, national and global conservation issues. Topics include Cornwall’s rare sand lizards, latest results from SINNG’s studies of non-native amphibians in the county, and a report on the current status of adders in the UK.

Delegates will also draw inspiration and ideas from research as far afield as Spain and Tanzania to help conserve species closer to home. Practical guidance will be given on recording systems and on biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of diseases through fieldwork.

There will be lighter moments, including a session entitled ‘Adam, Eve and Hissing Sid’, as well as time for informal discussion.

“One of the best things about Amphibian and Reptile Group meetings, nationally and regionally, is that they give people a chance to encourage each other’s efforts and share information, says CRAG Co-ordinator Mark Nicholson.

“Most of those who attend will be members of the various county ARGs, which together make up ARG UK. We’re a close-knit community of specialists and we work very effectively together to make sure these creatures get their fair share of conservation effort.”

The event’s sponsors are environmental consultancy companies CGO Ecology Ltd and Herpetologic Ltd, as well as the College itself.

Anyone interested in attending is asked to contact Pete Mycock at for details.

Toad patrols - volunteers needed!

Posted on Wednesday 6th February, 2013
Dear all,

Mortalities and, in some cases entire population losses, are an increasing problem for toads where they cross roads to reach breeding ponds in the spring. In Devon we made good progress in 2012 setting up new toad patrols and recruiting volunteers for new and existing patrols thanks to the hard work of last years Patrol Co-ordinator, Charlie Bellamy.

Unfortunately Charlie is unable to help us this year so DRAG are looking for a volunteer to take up the position of voluntary Devon Toad Patrol Co-ordinator. This person would collect records of toad crossings, create a database of sites and recruit volunteers to undertake patrols, in partnership with other conservation groups such as DWT local groups. It will also include arranging press coverage to encourage sightings and recruit volunteers from the general public. Charlie and myself are available to provide information and support.Please get in touch if you are interested in taking on the role of co-ordinator or if you are able to assist in patrols in your area (let me know where).

If, unfortunately, we are unable to find a sutiable Coordinator, we recommend contacting Froglife, see the webpages


Nicky Green CEnv MIEEM
DRAG Chair
Tel: 01647 253652

PS. I am running the Plymouth Half Marathon on April 28th 2013 to raise money for Cancer Research in memory of a dear friend and colleague.Please donate to this worthy cause by visiting

An Introduction to Great Crested Newts – 13th/14th and 20th/21st April 2013 at Braunton Burrows, north Devon.

Posted on Wednesday 16th January, 2013

These two courses are run by Nicky Green CEnv MIEEM, Chair of the Devon Reptile & Amphibian Group (DRAG) and has been working with great crested newts since 2003. The course location is the spectacular Braunton Burrows sand dunes SSSI on the picturesque north Devon coast.

Course cost is £100 (exclusive of required overnight accommodation) and all proceeds will be donated to DRAG. To reserve a place email The courses on both weekends are the same.

Items covered include: -

  • Ecology
  • Identification
  • GCN distribution – Devon and UK
  • Survey planning, timing, interpretation, health & safety
  • Survey methods including making a bottle trap
  • Habitat Suitability Index
  • Legislation
  • Survey and mitigation requirements – an LPA perspective
  • Introduction to mitigation methods
  • Field visits to practice survey methods

Christmas cards for DRAG

Posted on Tuesday 27th November, 2012
Hi there,

I have painted some images for Christmas cards with a distinctly reptile and amphibian theme, see Gallery.  You may recognise some well-known spots on Dartmoor where all herps, that shun hibernation, head to for the best places to play in the snow.  The A6 100% recycled cards and envelopes are for sale at £1.50 each or £1.25 for three or more plus P+P.  25% of card profits go to DRAG for surveys, habitat improvements and to raise awareness.  The cards are blank inside for your own message.

Please email if you are interested.  Go to to see close-ups.

A4 and A3 prints are also available.

Note that the colours may vary slightly due to different computer screen settings - but they'll still look great!  Make sure you allow plenty of time to avoid the Christmas postal rush...


DRAG slashing and lopping at Chudleigh Knighton Heath

Posted on Saturday 3rd November, 2012

DRAG volunteers will be improving newt habitat at Chudliegh Knighton Heath tomorrow.  Enthusiastic volunteers will be getting stuck into clearing scubby vegetation to allow for a digger to reach the existing pond at a later date.  We will then be clearing the ground as best we can to keep newts out of the footprint of the works and remove vegetation from the pond to stop it from silting up.  If you interested in joining in with similar events in the future please get in touch to become a member of DRAG (it's free!) and get email alerts on events and other activities.

Mabel Cheung



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