The Sorby Natural History Society, Sheffield

Covering a full range of natural history interests in Sheffield and the surrounding area, providing for both interested beginners and specialists.

Sorby Amphibian and Reptile Group

Secretary: John Newton,
Recorder: Derek Whiteley,
Viviparous Lizard © Derek Whiteley

Viviparous Lizard (Zootoca vivipara) – blue male.

The Sorby Amphibian and Reptile Group was formed in 2006 to study and promote conservation of local Reptiles and Amphibians.

The huge uncertainty of being able to forecast optimum weather conditions for reptile survey, necessarily means that many outdoor survey events are best organised by keeping in touch with the Group Secretary so that any planned survey visits can be matched to the best weather windows.

We also organise training days to demonstrate survey techniques in the field, and data acquisition and recording into the NARRS National Reptile/Amphibian Database.

Annual visits are also made to Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve where we assist with monitoring Sand Lizards and Natterjack Toads

We welcome records of observations of reptiles and amphibians in “Sorbyshire” (South Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Peak District and north Nottinghamshire.) We maintain a computerised database of records and share our records with Local Biological Records Centres and NBN Gateway.

In 1997 we published a review of local species in a book, Reptiles and Amphibians of the Sheffield Area and North Derbyshire, which is still in print. It is also available as a PDF download (1.9 MB).

In addition to the field activities mentioned above, we plan to hold several indoor meetings, which it is hoped will include identification of local species, active assessment of survey records, habitat management/quality issues, and interesting presentations from other ARG Groups.

Finally we intend to continue our involvement in the national NARRS surveys for Widespread Species.

John Newton at Ainsdale, 2008.

John Newton demonstrates a Sand Lizard (under license) during the annual census at Ainsdale Sands National Nature Reserve (2008).

Reptiles and Amphibians of the Sheffield Area and North Derbyshire (1997) is available as a PDF download (1.9 MB).