Committee

Our volunteer Committee Members bring a diverse range of skills to KRAG, enabling the day to day management of our organisation and successful conservation and education projects.

Steve Songhurst - Chair

Steve was enticed into the group in 2009 with promises of fame and glory…and ended up with the thankless task of trying to save amphibians and reptiles threatened by planning applications. In 2016 he was talked into becoming the group’s Chair, with more promises of fame and glory. Steve has gradually realised that fame & glory requires a lot of behind the scenes hard work with little prospect of the promised nirvana appearing anytime soon! Luckily the role of Chair of KRAG is a voluntary role, which only requires about 25 hours a week. Plenty of time left for Steve to search for other ways to spend his leisure time.

Rick Hodges - Secretary

Rick’s passion for herps started aged 6; something to do with a cowboy outfit with rattlesnake skin trimmings! At 16 he joined the British Herpetological Society and in the same year volunteered to work in the Reptile House at London Zoo. His job as a biologist has taken him around the world looking for amphibians and reptiles. He arrived in Kent in the early 1990s and soon after joined KRAG. Since 2005, he has been KRAG Hon. Secretary and is very active in the ‘Adders in Decline Project’.

Tara Hall - Education Officer

Tara's always had a passion for wildlife and grew up in Kent's countryside either searching for minibeasts, pond dipping or looking after slow worms in her Nan's back garden. Since then, Tara's love for reptiles and amphibians has lead her to join the KRAG committee in 2016 as Education Officer, where she's keen to spread her knowledge and enthusiasm for Britain's herpetofauna to younger generations

Amy Wright - Toad Patrol Coordinator

A love of amphibians and reptiles grew from a university study of great crested newts in 2005. When Amy joined the committee in 2011, she could not have predicted that a move to the village of Painters Forstal, home to one of the UKs largest toad crossing sites, would lead to the role of KRAG’s Toad Patrol Coordinator. Since 2012, Amy has been drumming up support for the County’s growing number of patrols, providing guidance and equipment to our dedicated volunteers.

Mike Phillips - Treasurer

As the KRAG treasurer, Mike deals with all things financial, however, this is just a front for his passion of recording and monitoring herpetofauna in Kent. He first became involved with the group when co-ordinating the Kent Pond Warden Scheme and was a key player in the instigation of the Great Crested Newt Monitoring Project. He joined the committee in 2005 and has been involved in recording projects and leading KRAG’s training programmes ever since.

Andy Buxton - Development Officer

Andy joined the KRAG committee in 2015, filling the Development Officer role, providing a means for KRAG to review planning applications and provide advice to members of the public concerned about the impact of development on amphibians and reptiles. Andy’s love of wildlife was sealed at an early age growing up on a small nature reserve in Oxfordshire, designated for its herpetological interest. These days, he can still lose an entire day chasing dragonflies with his camera.

Gail Austen

Gail joined the Committee when invited to be Chair in 2010. She has a general interest in British wildlife, and is passionate about biological recording and its importance in providing valuable information to decision makers. Gail’s role as Chair was multi-faceted and always with new challenges. After 6 years of dedication Gail stepped down from this role to hand the baton over. Gail remains an active committee member.

Jason Steel

A keen wildlife photographer with a passion for reptiles and amphibians, especially snakes, Jason has been a KRAG member since 2009 and Committee member since 2012. Jason works hard on the KRAG newsletter and is always on the hunt for new and interesting news stories and articles, often accompanying some of his own amazing images. Jason also monitors and records adder (and other reptile) populations at sites in North Kent.

If you are interested in becoming more involved with the running of our group we would be delighted to hear from you