ARC conserves amphibians and reptiles, and the habitats on which they depend, to protect them for future generations. As a small charity with 30 staff, we own 24 sites, manage 80 sites, and work with around 1,000 volunteers each year through opportunities that enhance their lives. ARC patrons include the TV presenters Chris Packham and Iolo Williams.

You are probably very familiar with the primary benefit of ARC’s work, as outlined in the table below. However, our activities also have a series of secondary benefits that express the true breadth and value that you are adding to society as a supporter. We want you to feel great about these secondary benefits as well!

Primary Benefit

Summary

Conserving Biodiversity

Practical conservation, monitoring and training enables amphibians and reptiles to thrive. We run projects aimed at supporting particular species in need, such as natterjack toads, pool frogs and sand lizards. The benefits go far beyond the amphibian and reptile species themselves, which play a vital role in functioning ecosystems and overall biodiversity.

Secondary Benefits

Summary

Helping to Reduce Climate Change

Amphibian and reptile habitats, in particular ponds, act as carbon sinks, absorb carbon dioxide from the air, filter air pollutants, improve air quality, and help to reduce the risk of flooding.

Contributing to Physical and Mental Health

Physical and mental health benefits of outdoor exercise are well understood scientifically and psychologically, and promoted by GPs and health professionals. Our volunteer programmes encourage people to become more active through practical conservation work at heathlands, ponds and other amphibian and reptile habitats.

Maintaining the Potential for Scientific and Medical Knowledge

We are losing amphibian and reptile species faster than scientists can learn from them to advance scientific and medical knowledge for human benefit. For example, lizard tails are able to partially regenerate in ways that could be further researched to understand the potential benefits to medical advances, for conditions such as arthritis and spinal cord injuries. ARC focuses on conserving the species in the wild in the UK.

Enhancing Education and Employment

Many of our projects work with schools to provide outdoor learning activities. Our training courses provide volunteers with skills that can benefit them when seeking employment in the conservation sector and beyond.

Improving People’s Outdoor Experience

Amphibians and reptiles play a role in enabling people to enjoy outdoor spaces and nature for recreation and mental wellbeing. We ensure that accessible sites are safe for the public to enjoy. Amphibians and reptiles are great species for having direct contact with nature.