20 December 2010

Good news for Toads in London

Work has started on Froglife’s exciting toad habitat project in London. Trent Park’s resident population of toads in Cockfosters will have cause to celebrate in the New Year after their habitat makeover.

When the toads wake up from their winter hibernation, they will find their long-standing migratory breeding pond sunnier and easier to access, as well as two new wildlife ponds.
The small amphibians have been using the 413 acre Trent Country Park to breed, forage and hibernate for many generations. A road cutting through the site means many of the amphibians don’t make it to the pond safely. In February 2010 a Toad Patrol crossing was set up with volunteers to help the toads every spring.

Toad patrol volunteers operate across the UK, but there are only four active toad crossings known in London, each of which is vital for the city’s toad population. Recent research suggests that toads have declined by 50% or more in central and eastern/south-eastern regions in Britain, making every step to help them of key importance.

The Trent Park project was made possible with help from £23,000 from SITA Trust and Enfield Council and is part of Froglife’s national Tuppence a Toad campaign. Froglife aims to raise funds and awareness about the plight of the UK’s common toads. You can help by collecting your small change for small toads, doing a sponsored swim or buying toad goodies from our online shop! You can find out more about the campaign here.


Celia Haddon said...

Is it possible to change the ponds used by toads. If we simply put them into a different pond, would they stay there?

Anonymous said...

Hi Celia,
We're hoping to trial this method of building new ponds to see if the toads can be tempted. There is anecdotal evidence of successess and failures so we'll have to wait and see! Moving spawn to a new pond should be more successful, though obviously we need to be careful with regard to diseases.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to obtain, legitimately, newts or their spawn? I have built a pond with amphibians in mind, but here on the Isle of Man I've had no takers (in our previous home in N Ireland frogs moved in a few months after I'd finished the pond there). So far here after two years - nothing!
Advice please!
Ken Nesbitt

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,
We’re very wary about recommending the introduction of amphibians to ponds as you need to be so careful about diseases and invasive plants. If you know of someone with a healthy wildlife pond then it may be possible to introduce some newt eggs but you do need to think about why the newts haven’t arrived of their own accord. It may be that it’s just not accessible to them but if they’re choosing to go elsewhere then you’ll need to look at what else you could be providing for them. See www.froglife.org/advice for more information. It’s only been two years though and it can take a while for amphibians to find a new pond.