10 February 2012

Join us to Celebrate Leap (frog) Day!

Froglife is teaming up with embe restaurant in Peterborough for a night of food, fun and music. 

Have you ever tried juicy vegetable jambalaya or crunched a christophine? Are you curious about jerk chicken or puzzled by plantain?

Here’s your chance to sample some African and Caribbean food whilst enjoying entertainment, socialising AND helping wildlife at the same time! What better way to celebrate the extra day in the month?

Join us for Leap Frog Day from 6pm on Wednesday 29th February for a buffet of fabulous starters and main courses of African and Caribbean cuisine, a quiz and a raffle. There will also be acoustic music from Nik Robson and Charlie Alexander.

Tickets are £12.95 a head and are available from the Froglife website, or you can pop into embe: 2 Burghley Road, Peterborough, PE1 2QB.

A percentage of the profits and donations on the night will help support our work – protecting wildlife and providing opportunities for people to find their wild side!

Part of our fundraising fun in 2012, the evening will also give you the chance to meet some of the Froglife team and find out about more our work and the wildlife we support. The event also ties in with Amphibian Ark’s global Leaping Ahead of Extinction celebrations, raising awareness about the threats facing amphibians across the world.

We hope to see you there!

8 February 2012

What YOU Can Do for Wildlife: Part 2

Froglife is growing a list of 12 ideas to help amphibians and reptiles in 2012. There are all sorts of things you can do to help wildlife in general, and amphibians and reptiles in particular. We’re sharing tips for our favourite actions you can be part of, and here is the second in our list of ideas.

Idea Number 2. Get Involved with a Nature Reserve.
Volunteers in the amazing landscape of Hampton Nature Reserve
Froglife manages Hampton Nature Reserve in Peterborough, and we know we would struggle to keep on top of the work load without the incredible volunteers that come out to lend a hand. We are looking for volunteers to help in a number of different ways and you can find out more here. If you’re not in our neck of the woods, you can find a list of local sites through the Wildlife Trust, the Woodland Trust, the RSPB, the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust and many other organisations. Anywhere with a pond or wetland areas is likely to also have amphibians, and scrubby or heathland sites may have reptiles.

Tasks can be physical and muddy to help keep the habitat in top shape, involve surveying and exploring to keep records on the site, or helping other people to get out and about. It can be a great way to get some exercise and meet new people, whilst making a real difference.

Froglife’s Rebecca Neal also volunteers in public engagement work on a nature reserve. “I think it is really important to give ordinary people a positive experience outside,” explains Rebecca. “This might be signposting them to suitable walk, telling them amazing facts about wildlife or building mini shelters for action men with children. The more comfortable people feel in the natural world, the more likely they are to be interested in conserving it.”

Volunteer and Froglife trustee Frank Clark shares how he came to volunteer for us:  “I was retired, not long returned from living in Italy when my wife and I followed our son and moved to Hampton. It was a case of what to do with ALL my time every day. Instead of garden centres, shopping trips and TV watching I chose to volunteer. First choice was Froglife and Hampton Nature Reserve right on my doorstep. Five years on I have developed a more balanced “working” week. Plenty of time for HNR but also time with my wife and the additional task of helping with babysitting our 3 young grandchildren – all still under 5 at the moment.
Frank and friends take a break on the Reserve
Now I visit HNR almost every morning to record the temperatures and check on the pump which controls the water levels. Once a week I walk round the reserve to check on any vandalism damage – caused both by humans and water voles. What has all this led to? I now have an interest in butterflies and birds, pond plants and, of course, amphibians and reptiles. My regrets? I would have liked to have been involved in conservation work much earlier. Be happy, volunteer!”

• You can sign up to be a volunteer on Hampton Nature Reserve by getting in touch with Paul Furnborough on 07977 250048 or emailing paul.furnborough@froglife.org

• You can find out about other opportunities for volunteering through Environmentjob , Countryside Jobs or your local Council for Voluntary Services

• We’d love to hear your volunteering stories and tips, and share them with others on our Stories page or through our Facebook profile here

Photos:  Sam Taylor and Dan Waters

6 February 2012

Join Froglife for National Science and Engineering Week

We’re planning our activities for the British Science Associations’ week of fun in March 2012. Froglife’s Rebecca Neal invites you to join us in Peterborough or Lanarkshire and find out more about newts on the move....

“So what, when you get right down to it, is an actual newt and what do they do?”

“I really want to dance like an idiot to cheesy music but clubbing’s not my scene.”

“It’s been my burning desire since I was small to hide under some camouflage netting and giant leaves, but where can I do it without ridicule?”

"If, like me, thoughts like these keep you awake at night then worry no longer! The remedy is just around the corner.

Froglife and friends are putting together a mind-blowing interactive exhibition to celebrate National Science and Engineering Week called “The Dragons Den: A Year in the Life of a Newt”. In this total emersion experience you will don your very own newt tail and journey through “newt world” in character and learn about these strange animals as you go.

Join us on the 10th or 17th of March to think like a newt
 You’ll race across the hunting ground to avoid being eaten by a giant snake, you’ll search out some tasty invertebrates to eat and hide out under some giant leaves. The best bit though, and the part which I am most looking forward to, is the section where you’ll pretend to be a boy newt and dance to attract a lady friend. (“Ah, ah, ah, ah, staying alive, staying alive…” I know you’re secretly throwing the shapes already).  How often if a lifetime does an opportunity like that come along?
Newts dance in their ponds in spring to atract a mate
If you are interested in coming along, you will find us:

• At The Discovery Den near the Visitors Centre at Ferry Meadows in Peterborough between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 10th March

• On tour in Palacerigg Country Park Visitors Centre in Lanarkshire in Scotland between 11am and 3pm on Saturday 17th March

I would suggest bringing some small people with you as well, just as an excuse. They will probably enjoy it too."

Photo: Sivi Sivanesan.  Lino print:  Sam Taylor