Frogs, Toads and Tadpoles

img_0165 Our back garden is cut into the   side of a steep hill.  It is enclosed by walls and a bit of a fence.  The fence is essential as it prevents the sheep from jumping into our garden from the adjacent field.  So we were very surprised to find we had a thriving community of frogs and toads!  We do have a covered way at the side of the house which connects front and back.  We often find frogs and toads overwintering in there.  We don’t have a pond.  A few years ago we discovered that the females were spawning in the drains and last year in a drip tray!  In order to give them a fighting chance I bought a large gravel tray, img_0162filled it with water, gave them access points and shaded it with a large piece of slate and also put some oxygenating plants in.  The tadpoles hatched last spring and I carefully nurtured them through all stages of development.  Had a few scary moments when some got flooded over the sides in torrential rain.  Fed them bits of ham and chicken (yes they really do love this) and we got a few froglets later that year.

This spring, the frogs spawned in the gravel tray, frog spawn has hatched and we have hundreds of tadpoles.  So we’re upgrading their accommodation to proper pond status.  The garden isn’t big enough for a huge pond, but then we’re only really putting a small pond in for the frogs and toads.  We’ve debated all year long on whether to go with a butyl liner or preformed unit.  In the end it all boils down to cost.  Butyl liners cost an arm and a leg and we bought a preformed unit for £14.99.  Perfect.

Just got to get it dug and installed now.  A job for summer (when it arrives)!

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