6 September 2012

See Mr Toad in Stroud

Froglife was excited to hear about the fifth annual Stroud Festival of Nature, which provides a great opportunity to learn more about local wildilfe, including amphibians and reptiles. 

The festival takes place on Saturday 8 September from 11am until 6pm in the beautiful grounds of Stratford Park, Stroud. 

Ellen Winters from the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust will be talking to people about toads and hoping to restart Toad Patrols in the Stroud area.  Froglife Toad Patroller Anne will also have a stand, hoping to recruit more keen volunteers to help with her local Toad Patrol in Pitchcombe.  The new Gloucestershire Amphibian and Reptile Group will also be there to share their passion for wildife with locals.

Pop along to the Stroud Festival of Nature to learn more about toads and what you can do to help

This is a free event where the public can not only learn about what is happening in the countryside around them, but also engage in family friendly nature based activities in Stratford Park.

As well as exploring the stalls and taking part in treasure hunts, crafts, art, etc, visitors are encouraged to bring picnics, relax on the lawns beneath the trees and explore the park’s arboretum, woodland and wilder areas.

There is also an exciting production of The Wind in the Willows suitable for all ages which starts by the museum at 3pm.  Tickets are available here.  

We hope everyone has a great day!
Photo: Lucy Benyon

3 September 2012

Great British Newt Off - One Month To Go!

Are you a nifty knitter, a beautiful baker or a Playdo Picasso? Froglife’s Great Crafted Newt Competition is open to creative people of all ages to build, sew, paint, draw or bake a newt with the deadline for entries coming up at the end of September. Newts are often overlooked but provide a crucial link in food chains in ponds and surrounding habitats, with three species found in the UK.
Great Crested and Smooth Newts

“The aim of Great Crafted Newts is to raise awareness about these inspiring little creatures,” explains Laura Brady from Froglife. “Arts and crafts are a great way to learn more about the animals and their lifecycles, and the competition is also raising funds to help us continue our work protecting newts and other amphibians. We’ve kept the categories as open as possible to encourage newt makers from all backgrounds!”

So, you can enter your newt in the following categories:

Great Cuddly Newts: including sewn, knitted or crocheted newts, and any other soft, 3-dimensional newts.
Baked Crested Newts: biscuits, cookies and cakes.
The Model Newt: 3-dimensional newts made from any kind of hard sculptural materials including clay, metal work, card, papier mache, wood etc.
2D Newts: any kind of 2-dimensional creations including textiles such as Great Cross Stitched Newts, tapestry, embroidery, plus paper based creations such as paintings, prints etc.
Accessories: wearable newts, including badges, hats, jewellery, bags.

And there are also 3 age brackets in each category: Under 12s, 12-18 and over 18 year olds.

“We’ve got some inspiring judges involved including artists, writers and ecologists, and some great prizes, including goodies from Cath Kidson, books and the chance to have your design made into a toy or a card,” adds Laura.

A Knitted Newt by Dr Sara Collins
There’s lots more information on our website, where you can also sign up to enter the competition for a £3 donation. When you sign up you will receive a fantastic newt pack full of ideas and inspiration for your newt, this includes patterns, recipes and some great facts about Great Crested Newts. If you would like to enter a school group or class, we are asking for a group donation – please get in touch with Laura for more information.
Visit the Froglife website to find out more about Great Crafted Newts and enter the competition here
Find out more about real newts and their lifecycles here in our Newts for Beginners Croak
Support out work conserving newts and other wildlife by becoming a Froglife Friend here

Thanks to Mint Publishing, Pebble Hathay Bunano, Knit Today, Knit Now, Brandon Ballangee, Cath Kidson and all the other supporters of Great Crafted Newts
Photos: Dave Kilbey and Dr Sara Collins