About us

Photo © Paul Hudson

Our Mission

 Amphibian and Reptile Groups of UK (ARG UK) is committed to the conservation of native amphibians and reptiles and their natural environment by supporting the development of a network of independent volunteer amphibian and reptile groups (ARGs). 

Our Charitable Objectives

The charitable objectives of Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK are:

(1) the preservation, conservation and welfare of native amphibians, reptiles and their natural environment in the UK for the benefit of the public by promoting and supporting the development of a network of independent amphibian and reptile groups (ARGs) involved in the conservation of the herpetofauna of the British isles.

(2) to promote education and research activities for the benefit of the public at large relevant to species and habitat conservation pertinent to native amphibian and reptile populations of the British Isles and to publish the useful results of such research for the public benefit.

Strategic themes and activities:

There are currently three themes to ARG UK’s work:

  1. Supporting the grass roots conservation of amphibians and reptiles:

ARG UK’s primary role is to support a network of 45, county-based volunteer amphibian and reptile groups. Each group works with the species in its locality, and these provide the ‘grass roots’ of native herpetofauna conservation in the UK; undertaking survey and monitoring, practical conservation tasks, public events and outreach and liaising with stakeholders including local planning authorities, land owners, other conservation bodies, and the wider public. We also support other volunteer groups with an interest in our native herptofauna in a more informal capacity.

  1. Representing the volunteer sector at the national level:

We are keen to promote the position and views of the volunteer sector at national level wherever possible and sit on a number of panels and forums including: the herpetofauna specialist group, the Great Crested Newt Working Group, the Garden Wildlife Health Forum and Garden Wildlife Project. We also convene internal meetings in order to understand better the views of our volunteers so that we can be more representative at national level.

  1. Public outreach and education:

We aim to promote positive messages about amphibians and reptiles with the wider public, through direct engagement at events and training days, by working with other NGOs and the local/national media to develop an engaging and positive narrative, and by developing educational materials for pre-school and school-aged children.

Our Guiding Principles

The guiding principles of ARG UK are:

  • We act as an honest broker between different interest groups and parties, especially those who have not worked together previously.
  • We work through collaboration, using existing networks or developing new groups and partnerships where there is a need.
  • We believe people learn most effectively from their peers, and enable those we work with to take action within their own groups and networks.