16 September 2011

Join Bagpuss, Mike Dilger and Mr Toad at London Zoo

Tickets are still available for Froglife’s fabulous Tuppence a Toad event in partnership with the Zoological Society of London on Friday 30th September. Chaired by BBC wildlife enthusiast Mike Dilger, we will also be joined by special guests for a night of fundraising and informative talks.

Speakers Sam Taylor and Roger Downie from Froglife will be discussing the Toads on Roads project and how it fits into a bigger picture of amphibian extinctions. There will also be a screening of a film from the Toad Patrollers’ perspective by Bufo Films. With Peter Minting and Helen Meredith from ZSL will be covering efforts to conserve amphibians in the UK and across the globe, it promises to be an inspiring and insightful night.

Touching on the cultural side of toads, special guest Bagpuss co-creator Peter Firmin will also be joining us, as will the original Bagpuss, Professor Yaffle and Gabriel the Toad! Peter will be sharing stories of how he came to create the characters, especially the banjo playing Gabriel.

Join us for all this, plus a fundraising raffle with fantastic prizes, an exhibition of amphibian inspired art and illustration, and the chance to share your memories of growing up with wildlife!

The important details:

Tuppence a Toad: Tales from UK Toad Conservation and Beyond
Friday September 30th
The Huxley Theatre, London Zoo, Regents Park, London, NW14RY
Doors open at 6pm with time to buy drinks and mingle
Talks starting at 7pm
Peter Firmin: The inspiration behind the creation of Gabriel, the banjo playing toad from the Bagpuss series
Froglife: Trustee Dr Roger Downie and DCEO Sam Taylor covering Toads on Roads and the context of the global amphibian extinction crisis
ZSL: Peter Minting and Helen Meredith on ZSL’s amphibian conservation work and the EDGE project
Wrapping up at 10pm
Tickets: £8 or £5 for Froglife Friends and ZSL members

Please book your tickets here, or call the Froglife office on 01733 558844, or email info@froglife.org

Hop-a-long to the Croydon Ecology Centre

Join Froglife this weekend at the annual Green Heritage Celebration at the Croydon Ecology Centre.

There will be lots of art and craft activities as well as conservation and volunteer groups.

If you have a wander through the gardens, you may be lucky enough to spot our native amphibians as they start to make their way to hibernation sites around the ponds now that the weather is getting cooler.  Sivi from Froglife will be on hand keeping an eye out for them!

The event runs on both Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of September from 11am-5pm.

Why not hop-a-long and support Froglife on this fun filled day?

Event location: The Old Orchard Heathfield Coombe Lane Croydon CR0 5RH

Froglife contact on site: Sivi Sivanesan, London Great Crested Newt Project Officer.

Tel: 07530 103 238 Email: Sivi.Sivanesan@froglife.org

15 September 2011

Fundraising Challenges: Who’s your champion?

A fundraising frenzy is taking over Froglife in the coming months, with Froglife friends, staff and volunteers all getting involved to raise some much needed funding for conservation. But that’s not all... Froglife CEO Kathy Wormald has pledged to DOUBLE the amount raised by the highest fundraiser, so why not take a moment to sponsor one of them and help them reach their target!

Half Marathons for Herpetofauna

With simultaneous half marathons in London and Peterborough, Froglife staff and supporters will be promoting awareness of the plight of amphibians and reptiles, and raising some money for their conservation in the process.

Taking on The Great Eastern Run in Peterborough will be Green Volunteer of the Year Graham Patton, along with Froglife’s Laura Brady and Liam Atherton.

Meanwhile, Froglife Friends Angela Wormald, Diane Barker and Georgina Ferguson, are all looking to conquer the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London.

Both runs will take place on Sunday 9th October 2011.

Peddling for Puddocks

Did you know that ‘puddock’ is a Scots word for a frog? Froglife’s Eilidh Spence is taking part in this year’s Tour de Ben Nevis, circumnavigating the base of the largest mountain in the UK. The 72km mountain bike route takes place on Saturday 24th September - Eilidh has been training for several months now and hopes to complete the ride in less than six hours! Click here for a preview of what Eilidh can expect to encounter on the day.

So, it’s over to you to do your bit! Who are you going to support?

Sponsor Peterborough half marathon runners Graham, Laura and Liam
Sponsor Angela’s half marathon
Sponsor Diane’s half marathon
Sponsor Georgina’s half marathon
Sponsor Eilidh’s 72km ‘Peddle for Puddocks'

If you are a UK taxpayer, please remember to tick the Gift Aid box which will give us 28% on top of your donation.

Thank you!

13 September 2011

Development Policy Deals Death to the Countryside

Froglife's Liam Atherton urges supporters to challenge the new National Policy Framework.

"The Government’s new National Planning Policy Framework has been condemned by conservationists UK wide. In a desperate attempt to promote economic recovery, radical reforms to planning policy have been proposed that simply do not have enough provision for the conservation of our precious green spaces and wildlife.

The main point of contention is the “presumption in favour of sustainable development”, which in essence shifts the default response of a planning application to “Yes”. This may have profound repercussions for the two-thirds of rural England that are currently outside of areas of outstanding natural beauty and national parks. No longer will developers be forced to justify why they should be allowed to develop an area, the onus will now be shifted to individuals, communities and NGOs to prove why it should not be- a colossal task at a national level.

As the Chairman of The National Trust, Simon Jenkins, reminds us bluntly, “The only sustainable meadow is a meadow. Sustainable development is a contradiction in terms. It means development.” He also goes on to highlight some basic, but telling figures. “The words development and business occur in the bill 340 times, the word countryside just four.”

The plans, which will see the harmonised rubbing of developer’s hands nationwide, reduces 1,000 pages of existing planning policy to just 52 pages. Combined with the coalition’s inclusion of every environment and wildlife law in a list of “Red Tape” legislation that need amended or scrapped completely, the protection of our natural heritage does not seem to be high on the agenda.

As an indication of the gravity of the current situation, the National Trust- for the first time in its history- is set to mobilise its 3.6 million members against the Governments planning proposals. Individuals have been called to write to Eric Pickles, the local government secretary responsible for drafting the new policy, as well as local MPs, and the National Trust has initiated an online petition. Even National Trust Chairman Simon Jenkins can concede that planning is too slow and needs updating. However Froglife is united with The National trust and conservationists nationally in a common belief- that this is not the answer."