Thursday, 8 August 2013

A beginning and an end!

In the next 48 hours Amphibian and Reptile Conservation will be launching a brand new website! Keep an eye on!

Once the new website is up and running we will no longer be posting via this blog. We hope to have a new e-bulletin feature on the new website very soon, but unfortunately this will mean you will have to sign up again via the website.

We hope you'll stick with us and continue to keep up-to-date with the latest ARC news!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Join ARC in tomorrow's State of Nature 'Tweet-a-thon!'

Following the release of the RSPB’s State of Nature report last week, ARC’s Jim Foster will be on Twitter tomorrow from 10:00 -11:00am for the State of Nature live ‘tweet-a-thon’. Tweet with your questions, interesting facts, photos and videos on frogs, toads and newts @ARC_Bytes using #naturesintrouble.
We all have a role to play. We will be highlighting ways to take action for nature and want lots of people to get involved! Follow developments at #naturesintrouble and read the report at

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Amendment to last blog regarding RSPB's State of Nature Tweet-a-thon on Wednesday 29th May.  Please note that Jim Foster will be answering your questions on frogs, toads and newts from 10am - 11am (not 9am-10am).  Get your questions ready.  In the meantime follow progress on #naturesintrouble
Yesterday was a big day for nature.

For the first time ever, all of the UK's leading wildlife organisations joined forces to undertake a health check on nature & together we launched the State of Nature report with the help of Sir David Attenborough.
To celebrate this unique partnership, RSPB are hosting a tweet-a-thon on Wednesday 29 May from 9am-6pm. Using the hashtag #naturesintrouble, eight wildlife organisations will be taking part in this marathon event, each with one hour to answer your questions.
Organisations taking part along with Amphilbian and Reptile Conservation are BugLife, Kew, Butterfly Conservation, People's Trust for Endangered Species, Bumblebee Conservation, Wildlife Trusts and RSPB.
Jim Foster, Conservation Director for ARC will be hosting a session on frogs, toads and newts between 9am and 10am so please send in your questions and he will be happy to answer.
More details and a full schedule of the day will be posted on the RSPB blog shortly. In the meantime, follow #naturesintrouble on Twitter for the latest updates.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Ground-breaking "State of Naure" Report launched today!

The UK’s nature is in trouble.  For the first time ever all of the UK’s leading wildlife organisations have joined forces to undertake a health check on the state of the country’s nature.  RSPB will be publishing the “State of Nature” report today, pulled together by a coalition of leading conservation and research organisations, of which ARC is a partner.  This report is based on data gathered by an army of thousands of dedicated and passionate volunteers in their spare time.  The report makes it clear that we cannot save wildlife with nature reserves alone; there must be a change in the way we tackle this problem in the future, for both the environment and our own good.  All parts of society have a role to play, from farmers and conservationists, to politicians and business leaders, to the public.

The report will be launched tonight by Sir David Attenborough at the Natural History Museum in London.  It reveals that 60% of the species studied have declined over recent decades.  More than one in ten of all species assessed are under threat of disappearing.  This trend is mirrored in Surrey and across the south east of England.  ARC’s Matthew Dowse will be discussing this with BBC Radio Surrey at 8.05am this morning – tune in to hear more.

Catch up with the State of Nature Report on BBC Breakfast from 6am this morning where ARC’s Conservation Director, Jim Foster, will be on the sofa.  You can follow developments at #naturesintrouble and you can read the report at

Monday, 25 March 2013

A Barnstorming night of fundraising!

On Friday 22nd March Amphibian & Reptile Conservation staff had the pleasure of attending the launch night of Dominik’s Wildlife Fund at the Colbury Memorial Hall in Southampton.

Dominik Reynolds, who has just turned 13, has worked as a volunteer for the RSPB for the last four years. We were introduced at our ARC Friends Day held last year where he made an impression on all of us. I have never met such a passionate young person as Dom who lives and breathes wildlife and conservation. Dom has been making a name for himself all over the country by speaking at conferences, on the radio, writing articles and representing the RSPB at Number 10 Downing Street spreading the conservation message and becoming a voice for young conservationists in the UK.

Dom set up his Wildlife Fund to raise money for deserving charities and conservation groups over future years.  In 2013 the two charities he has decided to spend a year fundraising for is RSPB and ARC.

The launch night barn dance was the first of the fundraisers to take place and an entertaining night was had by all! Our CEO Dr Tony Gent and his wife Jenny enjoyed barn dancing the night away to the band Murphy’s Lore who were great at getting everyone up to their feet and teaching them the dances. The raffle was popular and the prizes included days out, wildlife themed gifts and pictures donated by Chris Packham who inspired Dom to set the fund up.

I would like to thank Dominik and his Mum Kerry who put so much hard work and energy in to the evening which was a great success. Well done!

Richie Johnson, Gary Powell, Angela Reynolds and Tony Gent with Kerry and Dominik Reynolds

Friday, 15 March 2013

Vacancy for a Scottish Project Officer

ARC has secured funding from Scottish Natural Heritage for a new three year project focusing on developing wider involvement in Scottish Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.  This is a full time, three year post and will be based at Caledonian Conservation in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire.  Salary £21,000 p.a. 
Applications are invited from people with a good knowledge of herpetofauna and excellent interpersonal skills.  Demonstrable experience working on herpetofauna conservation in Scotland and in particular with the voluntary sector will be a considerable advantage. 
Go to for full details of the vacancy, job description, person specification and application form.  Closing date 28th March 2013.  Interviews to be held on 12th April 2013 in Hamilton.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Make CAP Count!

If there’s one single thing that has shaped the UK’s countryside over the last 50 years, it's the EU's Common Agricultural Policy.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the EU-wide system of payments to farmers and land managers worth over £3 billion a year in the UK.

The Wildlife Trusts believe the CAP must be radically reformed to protect and restore the ecosystems on which people and wildlife depend. Linking payments from the CAP to environmental measures, such as creating flower-rich field margins for insects and farmland birds, would help restore nature across the UK.

On 13 March 2013, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have an historic opportunity to reform the CAP. As our elected representatives in Brussels, it is vital that MEPs hear the voice of their constituents and make the CAP count for a Living Landscape.

Send a message to your MEP to vote for farming that supports nature:

This campaign is supported by the following organisations in the UK:

Monday, 11 February 2013

South West Regional Amphibian and Reptile Groups' Meeting 2013

Scaling up support
Cornwall to host amphibian and reptile conference

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).

Conserving adders is high on the Amphibian and Reptile Groups’ agenda.
Taken by Jack Perks Photography
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.