Hertfordshire Amphibian and Reptile Group (HertsARG)

About us

About Us

Hertfordshire Amphibian and Reptile Group (HertsARG) was established in 2011 to promote, conserve and study Hertfordshire's native populations of reptiles and amphibians. Since then we have gone from strength to strength and warmly welcome new members whatever their level of knowledge or experience. We have  Whatsapp and Facebook groups.  The group contains several licensed great crested newt workers and we are happy to take questions and queries from the public on these and other species.

The following species are found in Hertfordshire;

Smooth newts (Lissotriton vulgaris)

Great crested newts (Triturus cristatus)

Palmate newts (Lissotriton helvetica)

Common frogs (Rana temporaria)

Common toads (Bufo bufo)

Midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) *Non-native and generally restricted to St Albans area*

Common/viviparous lizards (Zootoca vivpara)

Wall lizards (Podarcis muralis)

Slow worms (Anguis fragilis)

Grass snake (Natrix helvetica)

There are no reliable records of adders (Viper berus) in Hertfordshire. Despite extensive searching across the county, we have not found any. They are therefore regarded as extinct here, pending proof of any animals being provided.  Any suspected bites or injuries should be taken to hospital  or veterinary surgery. 

Over the coming months we hope there will be news of a number of interesting and valuable conservation and research projects. Should you wish to become involved, or simply to be kept updated of progress, please email your contact details to davewillisbhs@yahoo.co.uk.

If you have any questions or ideas for future work, or know of a site you think may be of interest, let us know!



David Willis - Founder

(Please email for details, upcoming projects and any unwanted animals)


Telephone: 07581121270

Mammal Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) and Herp record queries;

Dr Chantal Helm or Mr Ian Flack
University of Hertfordshire






Posted on Monday 23rd January, 2012
The Olympic year promises to be a busy one for HertsARG! There will be an early season meeting in April and we will be attending several council-run events to promote reptiles and amphibians in the wild. Dates to come. If you have news or pictures you think would be good on the website send to davewillisbhs@yahoo.co.uk or, our new and very welcome Website Officer Anthony Laing at avonplettenberglaing@gmail.com.

Reserve Surveying 
Following a meeting with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT), we will be embarking on an ambitious survey plan, to cover as many of the 40+ reserves across Hertfordshire in order to get an idea of reptile and amphibian presence and numbers wherever possible. This will then lead to a plan for conservation tasks. we will be looking for people to volunteer to go and survey their local reserve whenever they can to help with this!

Much of this work is being co-ordinated by HertARG's Amphibian Officer, Kris Chan. Kris has extensive experience with Great Crested Newts in Norfolk. If you have an amphibian-related question, query or fact, please contact Kris on kris_chan@btinternet.com.

Great Crested Newt Training

There are plans for Great Crested Newt (GCN) surveying training to be rolled out to HertsARG members this year. Stay tuned or get in touch for more info.

Our friends
Reptiles and Amphibians need all the help they can get, so we're always keen to promote the work of like-minded organisations. Have a look at these;

Glebelands/Coppett's wood reserve.Not in Herts but excellent Newt habitat just down the road;


Hertfordshire Biological Records Centre. Whether you have sightings of frogs, fritillaries, badgers and bats, send them here!


Pond count

You can take part in the Big Spawn Count by going to your pond and counting the number of spawn clumps present. For more information about this, and to enter your results online, go to the Big Spawn Count pages (which are on the Pond Conservation web-site).


Autumn Meeting

Posted on Tuesday 18th October, 2011
Thursday 20th October 2011 at St Albans Sub Aqua Club, CottonMill Lane, St Albans, AL1 1HJ
7pm-9pm. We will be discussing the launch of the ARG and our plans for next year. Hope to see you there!

Upcoming meeting

Posted on Sunday 25th September, 2011
This is just to let members know that in the next few weeks there will be a HertsARG meeting, probably at St Albans Sub-Aqua Club, but I will confirm this and the date in the next week. There will be a bat and light refreshments. In the meantime, I would ask you all to have a think about ideas and suggestions about tasks and projects for next year. There are a few projects being organised by other groups with which we can assist but all comments welcome.
In particular the following would be useful for consideration;
-How do we raise the profile of the group?
-How do we go about collating results of surveys/reports?
-What do members see as being the priorities for 2012?
It should be remembered that these groups only work if the membership are committed and come up with ideas and projects themselves. ARC can offer directions, but our work is really down to us, so, please, all experience, experise, comments and questions welcome. Feel free to email or call me with them beforehand.

June-July Update

Posted on Monday 25th July, 2011

Herts ARG June-July Update

Bayfordbury Bioblitz

There was a good turnout at Bayfordbury Field Centre earlier this month for the Bioblitz survey. Although the weather was a little warm for most reptiles and amphibians, a dip in the ponds found some smooth newt efts and common frog(lets). This demonstrates yet again the importance of ponds and similar environments in Conservation.

Wildlife Trust reserves- Herpetological surveys

HertsARG has been invited to undertake surveys and, where appropriate, conservation tasks, with the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT). This Trust manages excellent  habitats for reptiles and amphibians across the county, and many HertsARG members will be keen visitors.

 If you are interested in joining a Survey group, please let me know, along with the area of the county you can get to most easily.

Midwife Toads

Midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) were reported to the ARG earlier this month in the Harpenden area. This is a non-native species with a very distinctive peeping-whistle, which, in this particular case, was causing some disturbance!

Facebook page

For those of you who are on facebook, there is now a dedicated HertsARG group. By all means, please get on and join!


Enquiries and Suggestions

There as been a steady stream of enquiries in via the HertsARG website. Please keep your own questions, comments and photos coming. You will note that there are no photos up on the website yet, but that is due to change thanks to the volunteered services of a couple of members.


It is likely that there will be an AGM at the end of the field season. If you have any suggestions as to venue or structure, please let me know.

May update

Posted on Monday 23rd May, 2011
Saturday 28th May
 Saturday's newt dipping session at Bayfordbury is likely to be cancelled, due to other commitments and people being understandably busy. Could I ask everyone to keep an eye out for promising ponds so that we could get swabbing some newts for the ZSL project.
Ponds for Wildlife PDF
ARC UK have produced and sent round a PDF (also available in hardcopy) on how to improve ponds for wildlife. However, it is very large, so I haven't sent it out automatically! If you would like a copy let me have your details.
Sightings/ Records
Please keep sightings/records coming in so we can continue building up a picture of the distribution of reptiles and amphibians in Herts.
As usual, if you have any ideas or suggestions for the future activities of HertsARG, let me know!



Show Past Events

Toad Crossings 2021

Mon 1st February, 2021 - Wed 31st March, 2021

Want to help out our declining toads? Several Toad crossing sites are now registered in Hertfordshire at a range of locations, and HertsARG volunteers have been helping out wherever they can. Please get in touch if you would like to help toads on roads, or know of a site where they are being killed by cars on the way to their ponds.

Contact us

Contact Us

David Willis - Founder

(Please email for details, upcoming projects and any unwanted animals)


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