Essex Amphibian & Reptile Group (EARG)
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About Us

The Essex ARG was formed in the mid 1990's. A relaunch occurred at Abbotts Hall Farm in 2002 where the group was re established organising training events on great crested newts and reptiles. Since that time the group has varied in size year on year. Anyone who works, lives in Essex can become a member of the group. Recording efforts are shared with the Essex Field Club where events are put on jointly.

The group is rather informal at present with various low key projects being implemented surrounding pond restoration, creation and habitat management. Involvement with local Biodiversity Action Plans used to be an important role for the group in terms of reptiles and amphibians but unfortuantely there are now moves towards habitat action plans and less focus on species.

The Essex ARG has now embarked on helping with managing nature conservation sites in the county. Three such sites are planned in Basildon, Rochford & Colchester the focus of the group is changing towards a proactive stance rather than a reactive approach towards development - areas of land will be maintained to benefit wildlife particularly its herpetofauna.

People can send an email to or phone the chair Ray Cranfield 07841 359827 for details on how to get involved



Nature Quest - Wick Country Park

Posted on Thursday 11th August, 2011

Again the 'Friends of the Wick Country Park' triumph in the rain!
Nothing could dampen our spirits yesterday. You just had to see how much the families enjoyed studying the quiz, bug hunting, pond dipping, gluing, holding a slow worm, having a go on the lucky dips, visiting the charity stalls etc etc to know all the preparation before and the  hard work on the day was all worth while.
We had about 150 people visit the park. A number that I am sure would have been higher if the weather had been kinder. But those who did come were very impressed with the opportunities we provided to get close to nature. The children delighted in taking home their certificates, 'I'm a first class pond dipper' book mark and their own pompom bug. Some went home with large cuddly toys or books and some  parents bought the best made bird boxes I have ever seen! A burger and chips for the hungry and free tea and unlimited biscuits for all provided the finishing touches to a wonderful day.
Congratulations and thank you to everyone who was involved.
We also made £90 which will go towards additional benches in the park and four new members joined the Friends of the Wick Country Park.
(Email from Friends of Wick Country Park, Wickford)

The Essex ARG had a brilliant day at the country park promoting the work of the ARG, and the Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust. A display of information from the ARC trust, BHS, Pond Conservation and ARG UK was given out to the vistors.

Live animals were exhibited at the event so that the public could get hands on with live native herpetofauna from the area.

Records of European Water Frogs were reported by South Essex Natural History Society member from Noak Bridge. The idenification of these frogs are coming a step closer as they do not sound like the Water frogs found at Hadleigh Country Park. It seems that these frogs are Southern Clade Pool Frogs.

More news on events etc to me soon 

RSPB WIld Outdoors Event - Wallasea Island

Posted on Sunday 31st July, 2011
Over the weekend the Essex Amphibian & Reptile Group displayed live animals to members of the public who had ventured out into the wild on Wallasea Island.

The main stars of the EARG stall were the great crested newts, common toad, slowworms and the non native yellow bellied toads which were presented to members of the public who wanted to find out more about amphibians and reptiles found in the county and particularly the reptiles which are resident on Wallasea Island.

Many interesting stories were given by the public about their experiences with herpetofauna in their gardens and on trips out around the Essex coast.

The Essex ARG were really pleased with the turn out and the steady stream of people taking away information on the various campaigns which are headed up by the Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust the national NGO which is the leader in herpetofauna conservation in the UK, Europe and in the overseas territories.

Publications included advice about dogs and adders, and the sliding scales project. the Dragons in your garden leaflet was also very popular along with Pond Conservations excellent guide to creating wildlife ponds for gardens.

The EARG will be setting up a reptile monitoring project in conjunction with the RSPB this autumn focussing on the adder but also the other resident species the viviparous lizard.

Volunteers can help with the survey if they contact the EARG using the contact page we can then give further details of when and how the surveys will be undertaken this autumn.

The excellent national project 'Make the Adder Count' is also going to be adopted for the spring in 2012 - so look out for further details of this in Essex on this webiste 

Essex ARG - Events this July & August

Posted on Monday 18th July, 2011
The Essex ARG will be attending a number of public events this July and August. Joining the RSPB at their project 'Wild Day Out' on Wallasea Island on the 30th July and also at the family day at the Wick Country Park, Basildon.

Our stall will be encouraging people to help local herpetofauna and to illustrate the species which are found on each of the sites.

If anyone would like to help out please do get in touch with Ray Cranfield
or telephone 01702 540600

New arrivals in Essex - Lizard babies

Posted on Monday 18th July, 2011
The first arrival of baby lizards were reported from a large key reptile site in Basildon. The Old Nevendon Road Nature Reserve had baby lizards reported by Ray Cranfield on the 15th July 2011.

Following on from the early breeding of great crested newts in February the new ponds on the site have very good numbers of adult and baby great crested newts. Over 25 adult newts were spotted within the six ponds on the site. This is a pretty good number of newts and it is more so as theses animals were seen in broad daylight!

Watch out for an organised event at the Private Nature Reserve in August & September - details to be announced soon.

Contact: Ray Cranfield 

Spring Surveys

Posted on Wednesday 20th April, 2011
Surveys for amphibians have taken place across Essex in recent weeks, with ponds in Brentwood, Warley, Thorndon CP and Wat Tyler CP surveyed.  There have been encourging finds, with one pond in Brentwood holding all 3 native UK species of newt (see the photo in the gallery here) and the survey of Wat Tyler CP yelding 90 great crested newts!  We didn't even have time to look in all the ponds too!  There is a photo of a nice male great crested newt in the gallery here.

If you would like to get involved in the surveys please do get in touch using one of the methods on our Contact Us page.



Past Events

Show Upcoming Events

Wat Tyler Country Park - Amphibian Survey

Tue 26th July, 2011

The EARG will be visiting the newt population at Wat Tyler Country Park - home to great crested newts, smooth newts, frogs and toads. The site is also home to rare and interesting invertebrates such as Scarce Emerald Damselfly and the Great Silver Diving Beetle.

Neil Phillips will be leading the walk - an evening walk from 6.30pm onwards

please contact for further details 

RSPB Wallasea Island Wild Outdoors Day

Sat 30th July, 2011

The Essex ARG will be exhibiting a stall at this family event being organised by the RSPB at Wallasea Island. Part of the Wild Coast Project the island will be open to the public and EARG would like to illustrate the importance of the reptiles on the Island in the past, present and into the future. EARG would like to ask for any volunteers who would like to help run the stall and also to possibly demonstrate some useful habitat and species survey tips to the public. Please email Ray Cranfield for more details

Nature Quest - Wick Country Park

Sun 7th August, 2011

Essex ARG will be also exhibiting at this Family event - the site is in Basildon and we would welcome any volunteers to come and help set up and help with the stall which will include live animals

free family day at the

Wick Country Park Tresco Way, Wickford


Sunday 7th August 2011 11.00am to 4.00pm 

Nevendon Field trip

Wed 10th August, 2011

The EARG will be visiting a newly created private nature reserve in Wickford, near Basildon.
Please email for further details on time and location


The 50 Pond Challenge 22nd/23rd Oct 2011

Sat 22nd October, 2011

The EARG will be helping with this challenge to build fifty new ponds on a private nature reserve in Basildon, Essex.

Starting on the Saturday at around 8am the creation of 50 ponds will be started. More news and details to follow

for more details you can email EARG or ARG UK 

Amphibian Surveys - Brentwood

Wed 25th April, 2012

Essex ARG members will be visiting various amphibian sites in Brentwood. Please contact Ray Cranfield or Graham Hart for more details

Ray Cranfield -
Graham Hart - 

Amphibian Survey @ Nevendon Washland, Wickford

Tue 15th May, 2012

Essex ARG will be helping with amphibian surveys at this private nature reserve managed by Herpetologic Ltd. 

Please contact Jon Cranfield for details on how to help with surveys for reptiles, invertebrates, mammals and amphibians 

Note: this event is part of Herpetologic Ltd's programme to provide free advice to volunteers. Aside from the conservation benefits, much professional work depends ultimately on the existence of a thriving volunteer network, and Herpetologic Ltd is happy to support Essex Amphibian & Reptile Group.

Contact us

Contact Us

07841 359827
Essex Amphibian & Reptile Group
c/o 178 Plumberow Avenue, Hockley, Essex SS5 5PL

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.

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