National coordinator - Angie Julian
Angie first took on the role of Secretary to ARG UK as a volunteer in January 2011. Since 2016, thanks to generous grants from the Patsy Wood Trust and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, she has been able to work for us as National Coordinator on a part time basis. Angie coordinates the network of volunteer amphibian and reptile groups, liaising with the chairs and committees, and also administers the websites, our recording database - Record Pool, helps to organise meetings including the annual Herpetofauna Workers' Meeting, and is the first point of contact for national representation by ARG UK. Angie is also secretary of OxARG.
Dragons in the Hills - Northern Ireland Project Officer - Josh Twining
Our new Project Officer on the National Lottery Heritage Funded 'Dragons in the Hills' project, Joshua Twining is a conservation biologist based in Northern Ireland. Josh will be working with communities and schools in the Newry, Mourne and Down District of Northern Ireland focusing on: Slieve Gullion, The Mournes and Strangford and Lecale AONBs to develop a community-based conservation programme for our native amphibians and reptiles including common frog, smooth newt and common lizard - our own little dragons.
Josh is also finishing his PhD at Queen’s University, Belfast focused on monitoring the recovery of the European pine marten in Ireland, how important these predators are in structuring the ecosystems they inhabit, and their propensity to recover in human-modified landscapes. Before this he worked with the People’s Trust of Endangered Species under David Tosh. He completed his Masters by Research at Imperial College London with Robert Ewers and Samrat Pawar, after spending a number of years working on various wildlife research projects in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Josh has worked mainly on terrestrial systems, from colourful skinks to sun bears, and has a passion for using citizen scientists to collect high quality monitoring data while encouraging local communities to reconnect with their natural landscapes and biodiversity.
Volunteer Administrator - Sheila Dyason
After a career in teaching and a life-time interest in wildlife, particularly birds and mammals, Sheila became Secretary of our HIWARG volunteer group, and then Chair of our Dorset Group, DARN. She has plenty of practical experience having helped to survey for reptiles with the Cyril Diver Project in Dorset and participated in ARC's New Forest Smooth-Snake Survey. She also holds Natural England Rare Reptile and GCN licences. More recently she has set up the SliC project - Slow-worms in Churchyards - in both Dorset and Hampshire. She has an MA and is currently finishing her MSc in Environmental Management with the Open University.
Following our conversion to a CIO in February 2016, ARG UK is now guided by a Board of Trustees comprising a Chair, Vice-chair, Treasurer, Secretary, supported by ARG representatives and advisors. The Trustees meet twice a year, normally in January/February (at the Herpetofauna Workers' Meeting) and October.
Chair of Trustees - Chris Monk
Chris is secretary of the Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group and has organised the carrying out of survey work in the Peak District for adders since 2005, as well as coordinating Make The Adder Count. He has worked for Pond Conservation in South Yorkshire and now works in Countryside Management in Derbyshire, and has had the pleasure of showing Ray Mears around his favourite amphibian ponds.
Trustee - Sam Kelly (nee Langdon)
Formerly our Pembrokeshire adder coordinator on the Adders are Amazing! project, we are delighted to welcome Sam to our board of trustees. As well as significant experience as a professional ecologist, and running Adders are Amazing! Sam is a trained science teacher, and will be supporting and advising on our ongoing schools and community outreach programme. Sam is also a committee member of Sussex ARG.
Trustee - Chris Cathrine
Chris is a member of Central Scotland ARG and Clyde ARG. He runs an ecological consultancy which undertakes reptile and amphibian work, including production of guidance for government organisations, as well as running training courses and completing surveys and mitigation for developments and conservation habitat management. In recent years he has conducted research in to grass snake distribution in Scotland, and contributed to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Scotland book.
Trustee - Alice Pawlik
Alice is a member of Devon ARG and Cornwall ARG, and is currently studying the links between the skin microbiome, pollution and disease susceptibility in common frogs for her PhD at the University of Exeter. Previously, Alice has reared pool frogs for reintroduction as ARC's Amphibian Husbandry Officer, was Project Assistant for Froglife’s London T.O.A.D Project, and has lots of experience working with both museum and zoological collections of reptiles and amphibians.
Chair of our South and West Wales Group, SWWARG, Mark is also currently the Wales Dragonscapes Officer for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, with a remit to promote community engagement and conservation action for amphibians and reptiles across Wales.
Lead Safeguarding Trustee - Nicola Morris
A passionate herpetologist and Chair of Cornwall Reptile and Amphibian Group, Nicola is Project Coordinator for the charity CINNG (Community Invasive Non-Native (Species) Group) which brings people and the environment together to benefit the health and well being of both. In her current professional role as invasive species officer for the South West Lakes Trust she continues to guide ARG UK on all issues relating to invasive species. Nicola is also bringing her considerable experience in the further education system to become our lead safeguarding trustee.
Trustee - John Baker
John is treasurer of Suffolk ARG, and works as an ecological consultant based in Suffolk. He has a long career in herpetology, with stints at ARC and Froglife. He monitors the reintroduction sites for our rarest native amphibian, the pool frog.
Trustee - Nigel Hand
Nigel is an active committee member of the Herefordshire Amphibian and Reptile Team (HART), and amphibian and reptile recorder for the region. He is particularly passionate about adders, and has filmed the species for BBC One, ITV and recorded for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester. He has also pioneered the use of radio telemetry to track adders in the UK, and is a recognised expert in this field.
Lead Data Protection Trustee - Steve Langham
Steve is chair of the Surrey Amphibian and Reptile Group (SARG). He has been a data management, science and technology advisor to Natural England, Government Departments, NGOs and Industry. He is an advocate for the independent ARG network and the use of objective evidence. For many years he has been developing survey applications to ensure conservation information gets to where it is needed, and has designed and built our ARG WEB system. Steve is also our lead trustee on data protection issues.
Treasurer Trustee - Frank Syratt
Formerly Chief Executive, The Ramblers’ Association, Director of Resources at Plantlife International, Finance Manager for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Accountant for The New Internationalist and Asylum Welcome. Frank brings his extensive financial background to monitoring and supporting our financial processes, and ensuring that the ARG UK accounts are prepared in an accurate and timely manner in accordance with HMRC and Charity Commission requirements.
Trustee - Suzie Collinson
Suzie is currently Chairperson of the Cumbria Amphibian and Reptile Group. She has a background in Zoology, Education and Seasonal Ecology work, and a passion for herpetofauna (specialising in Slow worm ecology). She brings all of these skills to supporting ARG UK’s purpose, objectives and values of amphibian and reptile conservation through supporting individual ARG groups.
The grass roots of reptile and amphibian conservation in the UK - the ARGs!
The Board of Trustees is elected by the affiliated member ARGs, and many are drawn from the volunteer network. All ARGs that are affiliated to ARGUK are eligible to vote at the AGM in January/February (the AGM is held at the annual Herpetofauna Workers' Meeting).