The event was led by Local and European reptile expert John Newton, in partnership with the DVLP as part of their ‘Surveying the Dearne’ project.John has worked in the field of herpetology now for almost 35 years , and has been actively involved in reptile and amphibian conservation up and down the country, working most notably in Merseyside and on the islands surrounding Ibiza.
The event was aimed at families and locals wishing to learn more about reptile and amphibian conservation in the Dearne Valley, often an un-represented field of study, yet an exceptionally interesting and rare group of species to study that are sadly in great decline.
The discovery day gave families the chance to come up close and personal to a wide range of local, rare and endangered species, including Grass snake, Slow Worm, Natterjack Toad, Common and Sand Lizard. Due to the elusive nature of these species this was most likely the first time people had been given the opportunity to see such rare and iconic species on the hand, and probably the closet they will ever get.
The day covered a number of topics including reptile and amphibian conservation, habitats, lifestyle, identification and how you can get more involved in their conservation in the Dearne Valley. We had a fantastic turn out with 200 people visiting the display and talks throughout the day, including people of all ages and abilities. We had some great feedback, and managed to raise the profile of amphibian and reptile conservation, many people in the local area now know what to look out for as a result, to submit data and not to fear them.
The kids especially seemed to enjoy themselves, below are some of their comments on what they learnt from the day.
Locations in the Dearne
This event can be found at the following locations:
Elsecar Heritage Centre
The Elsecar Heritage Centre is a family attraction located in the village of Elsecar, South Yorkshire.
Worsbrough Mill and Reservoir
Worsbrough Mill is a working 17th century water mill located in a 240 acre Country Park in Worsbrough, South Yorkshire.
Wombwell Wood, Wombwell
Wombwell Wood is an ancient semi-natural broadleaf woodland located in the Wobwell, South Yorkshire.