The British Herpetological Society

BHS has generously donated funding towards the purchase of 20 hectares (50acres) of Hampshire heathland to Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) from the BHS Conservation/Land Fund earlier this year. This site at Blackmoor is part of Woolmer Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which is one of the most important areas of heathland in southern England.

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) are seeking to raise £206,000 to enable purchase of an additional 19 hectares of Parley Common - important lowland heathland in Dorset.  The BHS has pledged £10,000 towards the target!    Successful purchase of this acreage would increase the area of Parley Common owned by ARC to almost 20% of the total site area - thereby safeguarding an area of heathland on the site in perpetuity.  


Thanks to the efforts of our Secretary Trevor Rose and Website Developer Jen Drage,  ALL  editions of The Herpetological Bulletin  from the very first one dated Summer 1980 to current are now uploaded as PDFs and available on the Bulletin page.   This represents a real achievement and provides a fantastic historical resource.   All editions apart from the latest four are flagged as open access in line with our policies in this area.   

For the first time in many years (possibly since the Society was first formed)  we have regretfully decided that cancelling the 2020 AGM - scheduled for April 25th - is the only sensible course of action given the unprecedented coronavirus situation. 

We very much hope all BHS members and other users of the site are able to stay safe and well  in the coming weeks and months. 

At this point we hope that the planned Amersham meeting on September 6th - annual joint meeting with Thames and Chilterns Herpetological Group - will be able to go ahead (see separate event entry for details) but will of course be monitoring the situation in coming months.


Trevor Rose -  our Society Secretary and developer  of amphibian ladders as a solution to avoid the needless deaths of countless amphibians in drains and similar traps  -  recently travelled by invitation to South Korea to explore and promote the idea of the  ladders being used there.  Read more here:  pdfGoing Global!

BHS Council have agreed to donate £25,000 from the land fund towards the total £250,000 target which, if reached, will  enable ARC to purchase 50 acres of Blackmoor in Hampshire - an important heathland habitat for herptiles.

The BHS funds will be made available to ARC when the pledge and donation target is achieved.

For more details of the site and ARC appeal, please click here: ARC Blackmoor Appeal



The recent 2019 joint AHH / BHS / IHS conference held at Drayton Manor Park  was another great success, with both the Saturday workshops and Sunday conference well attended.  Delegates enjoyed a range of varied, informative and often entertaining talks from our excellent speakers, along with great opportunities for meeting up and sharing experiences and information during the breaks.

We would like to once again extend our grateful thanks to Drayton Manor Park for kindly hosting the conference and their great support during planning and the weekend itself.  Particular thanks to the park Zoo Manager, Chris Mitchell  and Conference and Events manager, Melissa Penn.

A full report of the conference will appear in a future edition of our newsletter, The Natterjack. 

The paper on declining adder populations in the UK ( published in HJ , Vol  29 Number 1)  has received  national coverage both in newspapers - Guardian, Times , Telegraph, Daily Express  - and on radio.   A summary of the study findings has also just been published in Science, both in the online and printed magazine editions.


The paper has been published in the HJ as open access, so can be viewed or downloaded here: Adder population decline in the UK


The Science article can be seen here : Science magazine




Booking facility is now open for what promises to be another great 2 days of workshops and conference - please navigate to the event entries on the website home page to book on!

It is with great sadness that we report the sudden and untimely passing of John Pickett on the 19th of July.  John was a loyal and active BHS member over many years, well known to many of us.  Joint founder of the Bulletin in 1980 (together with Simon Townson), John remained as co-editor for almost 20 years. During his long period of membership John had several spells on Council and had recently re-joined Council in the post of Trade Officer.  A full obituary will be published in due course.  In the meantime, we offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends.