Discovering Reptiles was a National Lottery Heritage Funded project which ran from April 2020 until April 2022. The project aimed to inspire people about our fantastic native reptiles, including the common lizard, slow-worm, sand lizard, grass snake, adder, smooth snake, and leatherback turtle.
The key goal of the project was to increase reptile surveying and recording through citizen science. Reptiles are largely overlooked in the UK, and a lack of survey effort has resulted in there being very little publicly available reptile data. Discovering Reptiles tackled this issue by delivering training courses and webinars teaching participants all about reptile identification, ecology and survey methods, and encouraging them to have a go at surveying for reptiles in their local green spaces, and recording their sightings on on our free Dragon Finder App. The data generated through this gives us a better understanding of how reptiles are doing in the UK, helping us to identify priority areas and develop targeted conservation strategies. We also worked with a number of landowner groups, teaching them how to manage their sites to benefit reptiles, and how to create new reptile-friendly habitat features.
The Discovering Reptiles project delivered a total of 30 training courses with 495 participants, and 22 webinars with 1,772 participants. We also supplied 860 bitumen reptile mats to groups attending our training courses, providing them with the resources needed to carry out reptile surveys. These groups now have the knowledge, skills and equipment they need to survey for reptiles!
Here is some of the feedback from people who took part in the Discovering Reptiles project:
“Thank you so much for running this course. I always feel my reptile knowledge is lacking and managing for reptiles is often over looked on nature reserves. These online courses are high quality, really accessible and easy to follow. Please do more! :)”
“Thank you so much. Lots of information to take away and improve the habitats of Fermyn Woods. Really inspiring.”
“I will be able to use the information learned today to inform management of sites for reptiles and also to better consider potential reptile mitigation options before/during/after necessary navigation works.”
“Thanks very much Ben and Froglife, a great workshop and I am inspired to take action.”
If you have any questions regarding this project, please get in touch with Jenny.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please remember to record your reptile and amphibian sightings on our free Dragon Finder App. You can also find tips, techniques and skills for reptile surveying in our free ‘Surveying for Reptiles’ booklet.
This project was made possible thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thank you to all National Lottery players for making this possible.