Last year saw the launch of our Garden Dragon Watch survey. The data collected by Garden Dragon Watch will help ARC to find out more about the reptiles and amphibians that people find in their gardens, and the habitats that benefit them. This will help inform our conservation work and the advice that we give to households, in both rural and urban communities, that provide a home for frogs, toads, newts, lizards and snakes.

Since we went live in May 2020 we have seen a great number of entries from across the UK. With most of the country being restricted to staying at home during the pandemic, many of us only had our gardens as a green space to explore, so spotting your residential amphibians, lizards and snakes may have become a lockdown pastime.

At the close of 2020 ARC had a total number of 780 records submitted to Garden Dragon Watch, with a total of 1,668 animals spotted (not counting all the tadpoles!) The most commonly spotted species was the common frog, with 193 sightings. Coming in second place with 109 counts is the smooth newt and third is the slow-worm with 89 counts. An interactive map and all the species numbers can be found on our Garden Dragon Watch page.

With spring finally here our gardens have come alive again and your local
amphibians and reptiles will be out and about. Keep your records coming in and give it a go! Just spend around 10 minutes exploring your garden and then fill in our quick online form. Try looking in or around a pond, compost heaps, at the bottom of a hedge, in garden borders, or near log and rock piles. You can repeat the survey as many times as you like to let us know how things change throughout the seasons, year on year.

If you’re new to amphibians and reptiles, why not do our ‘Amphibians and Reptiles in Your Garden’ bitesize online course? This will show you how to recognise the species you are most likely to see in the garden and how to find them.

We are aiming to fill in any blank spaces on the Garden Dragon Watch map. Areas such as northern England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are in need of filling up, so let your friends know, get involved and start recording!

Get started!