Scales and Warts Survey

We would like you to send us your sightings of adders, common lizards or common toads you see while out and about. By doing this you can help us to find out:

  • Whether the distribution of these species is changing over time.
  • Whether the timing of events, such as emergence from hibernation or breeding, is changing over time.
  • Whether these changes are related to shifts in the climate.

 Adder  Lizard  Toad and spawn


 Common Lizard

 Common Toad


How to take part

1. Either download and print a postcard (by clicking the image below) or pick one up from one of these locations.

OR you can use our free MoorWILD smartphone/tablet app (for Apple and Android) to record sightings in the field or when you get home. The app is an identification guide, but also allows you to use your device's GPS to log sightings of any of our survey species.

Scales and Warts postcard

2. If you see any of the species, make a note of how many you saw, when and where. We are interested in sightings from anywhere, not just moorland habitats. 

If you see an adder or a lizard look to see if it is an adult or a juvenile (the postcard has details of how to tell these life stages apart). If you see a toad, record how many you saw and whether or not it is in a pond or waterbody. If you find toadspawn, you don't need to count individual spawn strings.

Finally, try and take a photo if it is possible to do so without getting too close or disturbing the animal. This will help us to verify your sighting. 

3. Submit your sightings via our iRecord page, by using the app or by posting a survey postcard.



There is information about how to identify each animal on the 'species' pages above. For further help and more information about their conservation, you can also visit:



It is important to take care of yourself, the environment and any animals you encounter. These species are sensitive and adders are venomous. They are all protected by law. Please do not handle any animals you encounter, and take care not to get too close to them or behave in any way which could disturb or distress them.

While carrying out this survey you do so entirely at your own risk. Moors for the Future Partnership do not accept any liability or responsibility for the well-being of surveyors or damage/loss of their property. Download our Health and Safety Guidelines here.

This survey has been developed in consultation with Derbyshire Amphibian and Reptile Group (DARG), and the Sheffield Moors Partnership.

 Derbyshire ARG  Sheffield Moors Partnership

You can find more information about adders and adder bites on the Eastern Moors Partnership website.

Illustrations (c) Chris Shields

Our Partners

partner logos