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If you are new to Internet bulletin boards and in particular 'Web Wiz Forums' you may find it helpful to read through this page, or you may choose a specific question from the list below. If your question is not listed or if you have a technical problem whilst using the forum, please contact the forum administrator.

What is the Forum about?
How do I use the RAUK Forum?
Why do I have to register?
Do I have to enter a valid email when I register?
Do I have to fill in all the registration details?
The forum tells me I 'do not have permission' to ....
Can I receive notification of new posts made on the forums by email?
If I reply to a notification email, does my reply appear on the forum?
How do I post a picture on the forum?
I have lost my password, what do I do?
Is RAUK the right place to ask advice about my pet?
Are the forums moderated?
Do the forums have any specific policies?
Note from RAUK administrator

About the RAUK Forum

The Reptiles & Amphibians of the UK (RAUK) bulletin board was created to allow networking, discussion, exchange of information and expression of views regarding all aspects of the United Kingdoms native herpetofauna. From reptiles and amphibians seen in gardens and the wider countryside, to the often thorny issues of herpetofauna conservation, including impact of development and habitat management, RAUK is the UK's premier site to air your views, ask for information or simply to let the world know that the first frog has arrived in your wildlife pond!

Using the Forum

The RAUK bulletin board allows you to read and post messages in a total of 31 different forums. Anyone visiting the RAUK website can read all the messages posted but only registered members can reply to messages. If you would like to reply to a message you have read and are not currently a member, you will need to register.

Once registered you may reply to posts in existing topics or create a new topic for your message. Look carefully at the list of separate forums available, choosing the most appropriate forum for your topic will increase the likelihood of receiving a reply.


It is necessary to register as a member before you are able to reply to any messages you have read or ask a question, as you must have a unique user name for the forum to function. Your user name will be your identity when you create or reply to posts on the forums. Registration is straightforward, you only need to enter a user name and password of your choice and a valid email address. RAUK does not mass email its members or pass any information to third parties, or make use of your membership in any way. Though you may wish to register seperately to receive the RAUK Newsletter and be kept informed of updates and additions to the web site via email.

Registration allows you to make full use of the forums facilities such as replying to posts, creating new topics, receiving notification of new messages via email and seeing members profiles.

Register to use the forums now

Entering a valid email when registering as a member

It is necessary to enter a valid email address to register to use the RAUK forums. When you register an email will be sent to you containing a link to activate your account.

Registration Details

When registering as a member it is necessary to enter:
  1. A unique user name (this is your identity when you post on the forum)
  2. A password so that you can login to the forums under your unique user name and reply to messages and post new topics
  3. A valid email address

All other fields may be left blank, however you may wish to fill in some of the other fields to let other users know where you are from, your special interests or contact details.

Forum Permissions

The forum may generate messages such as 'Sorry, you do not have permission to post new topics in this forum'. If you are already a member of the forums, check that you are logged in under your user name.

If you are new to the forums you need to register to be able to post new topics, reply in current topics and view members profiles.

Posting Pictures on the Forum

If you have registered you may wish to include a picture in a message. There are various methods to include images in your posts.
  1. If the image is already mounted on the Internet                                                                                                                                              for example on your own website, you can click the following icon, to open a text prompt window. Type or cut and paste the exact URL to your image such as http://www.mywebsite/images/adder.jpg and click OK. If the URL is correct the image will display in the post reply box before you submit the new message. If a box with a cross is displayed the URL entered was not correct, try again. Common errors include missing the http:// part of the URL or forgetting to add the file extension such as .jpg, .png, .bmp etc. Images are best reduced to approximately 700 pixels width for display on the forum.You may also use a free image hosting account such as photobucket.com to mount your images on the internet. Your host will provide you with the correct URLs once you have uploaded images to your account. Once you have the URL follow the steps in (1) above.
  2. If the image is on your computers local hard drive                                                                                                                                              (C: D:) etc. In many of the forums a picture upload facility is enabled. Clicking on this icon, will open a box that allows you to browse your computer hard drive(s). The upload facility is restricted to files of 500 Kb or less, images should be reduced to this size using photo editing software before the upload is attempted.
  3. All else has failed you have tried everything and are about to give up..                                                                                                                                              post your message to the forum that you wish your image to appear in and then email the image to the forum administrator with a note to let us know which post you wish the image to appear in. We will then display the image for you in the appropriate post.
Receiving Email Notification of New Messages

You may choose to receive notification by email of new messages either in a specific single topic or an entire forum such as 'latest news', 'grass snake' etc. This allows topics to be followed without visiting the RAUK website. Once you have registered visit the forum or topic which you wish to watch. Towards the foot of the page you will see the following,
  • For forums: Watch this forum for new posts
  • For specific topics: Watch this topic for new posts

Clicking on these links will configure the forum to automatically email you any new messages that appear either in the chosen forum or topic.

If you no longer wish to receive notification of new messages via email, return to the appropriate forum or topic. If you have chosen to watch for new messages the link towards the bottom of the page will have changed to:
  • For forums: Un-Watch this forum for new posts
  • For specific topics: Un-Watch this topic for new posts
Simply click the link to disable email notification of new messages.


Replying to Notification Emails

If you receive a notification email of a new message posted in a forum or topic you have chosen to watch replying to the email WILL NOT POST A MESSAGE ON THE FORUM. Replies to forum notifications simply end up in the admins in-box. Though we are usually able to inform the user of the error, we cannot post the message.

To post a reply to a new message you must visit the RAUK website and reply to the appropriate post in the normal way even if you were informed of a new post by email.

(It is hoped that shortly we will be able to modify the bulletin board to allow replies to notification emails to automatically be posted to the forum, as we appreciate that many users have very little spare time for visiting the RAUK website though might be interested in watching and replying in specific forums or topics)

Forgotten Passwords

If you have registered and forgotten your password, click the link below. You will be prompted for your user name and email address.

Forgotten your password?

Enter your user name and the valid email address that you entered in your profile and click 'Email Password', the bulletin board will email you a new password. You may now log into the forums in the usual way using this new password and edit your profile to enter a new password of your choice.

This facility will only function if you entered a valid email in your profile when you registered or subsequently and you use the same email address in the forgotten password request.

RAUK Admin has no facility to retrieve lost passwords for you, as they are encrypted for your privacy. However we may be able to verify whether your email address entered in your profile is your current valid email.

Captive and Pet Reptiles & Amphibians

RAUK is not orientated towards pet keeping and we would suggest that questions regarding captive reptiles and amphibians would be more appropriately placed on one of the many Internet forums dedicated to the subject. (Contact the administrator if you would like links to pet orientated Internet forums)

However, if you feel that RAUK is the best place to receive specific advice, please post in the 'off-topic' forum. All other forums are dedicated to herpetofauna in the wild.

Pet related questions or discussion outside of the off-topic forum or in an inappropriate topic will be removed.

Exceptions are:
  • when escaped pets are found in buildings, gardens or in the wild
  • discussion of serious captive breeding programs for the purposes of conservation and re-introduction

Forum Moderation

The forums are fully moderated jointly by the administrator and the forums moderators Gemma Fairchild and  Mervyn J Cottenden. Every post made to the forums is scrutinised. There is zero tolerance of personal abuse. Members who join and purposely mislead those who voluntarily give advice, will be suspended or permanently blocked from using the forums.

We understand that on occasion discussions become heated and hope that we moderate fairly. Members can report any post that they feel is disruptive or abusive.

We reserve the right to delete, alter, move or in any other way alter posts made to the forums. Alterations will be indicated by the following message Edited by administrator/moderator on (date) at (time) in most cases where the post has been altered for moderation purposes an explanation will be given.

We also reserve the right to suspend, ban or delete the registration and block the re-registration of any member without prior warning or explanation.

In exceptional circumstances of disruption the forums will be closed.

Forum Policies

There is only one specific policy associated with the forums other than the standard rules and policies you will be asked to agree to when you first register. This regards the naming of sites where native species occur. It is very often better not to name specific sites unless they are large areas of heathland such as Purbeck, Hindhead Commons, Frensham or reconised areas such as the Kent Downs or Ashdown Forest, naming the nearest large town is a useful way to describe a location without being too specific. This policy is in the interest of protecting native species.

We use our discretion when moderating site names as many reptile 'hot spots' are already well publicised both on the Internet and in the literature and we appreciate that not being too secretive about where native herpetofauna can be found will often arouse interest and support.

A common question that is asked is 'where in my area can I find wild reptiles & amphibians?'. We suggest that replies to such questions are answered by forum members via email or the forums private message system if the answer is very specific or the sites may be sensitive, it is the responsibility of the answering member to verify that the request is genuine if the requesting members is not know to them.

In particular, naming of smaller sites where adder occur is not advised. Despite the species protection under the Wildlife & Countryside Act (as amended), human persecution and collection remain factors in the species apparent decline.

The forums policy is a guide to protect native species, and members will not be penalised for stepping outside the guidelines, it is simply a reminder to remain vigilant. If as a member you feel that a site name posted to the forum is too sensitive, please contact the forum administrator.

Note from the Administrator

Thank you for taking the trouble to find out a little about the RAUK forums. I hope that you choose to join the forums and find them as interesting and as informative as I have in the past few years.
We understand that Internet forums can be a little daunting to those who are unfamiliar with them. If you have any problems with using the forum facility or any feature of the Reptiles & Amphibians of the UK website, we are here to help.

Best regards,

Written by Gemma J Fairchild, RAUK moderator
Updated June 2009 by Chris Davis, RAUK administrator

If you experience any difficulties whilst using the Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK website or the forum facility, please contact the administrator at:


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