Surrey Amphibian and Reptile Group (SARG) 

Wall Lizard Colonies: Nutfield



Closest Town:



Introduction date:

1980 to 1985

Site Name:



Source of introduction:

Italian animals imported directly to site. Escapees from professional captive breeder.

Site Access:



Colony Status:


Relative population estimate:



Extirpation date:



A thriving colony of Wall lizards is present within a private garden at Nutfield on the site of the old Xenopus Ltd. complex.

Xenopus Ltd. occupied the current site from 1980 until 1989 having previously occupied a site on Priory Farm (also Nutfield, Surrey). Xenopus used to breed animals for the pet trade, school biology classes and for scientific research, but ceased trading in 1989, when the site was sold for redevelopment due to a change in planning permission. This coincided with a decline in the use of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) in research and also increasing personal doubts of the director John Griffin (although many of the frogs were captive bred) about the morality of using wild-caught amphibia as pets and for research.

Some Wall lizards escaped from the site in 1980, and managed to survive the winter. Several small scale escapes occurred from 1980 until about 1985.

The original Wall lizard stock was procured from Barilli & Biagi (Bologna, Italy) and were assumed to be bred from locally caught wild specimens.

Other local introductions during the 1980s were Italian Crested Newts (Barilli & Biagi) into the man-made pond in the grounds together with Alpine newts from the T. Gerrard site at Newdigate. These all thrived until the pond dried up after the clay lining was punctured by a falling tree in the gales of 1987. Edible frogs from the Newdigate site may still be thriving in the old lake on Priory Farm.

Ecological impact:

Not assessed


The animals use decking within a residential garden.


Green-backed form, of Italian origin.