St Valentine’s day was traditionally thought to be the day when creatures mated – including frogs. Frogs along with their warty friends toads, are known for being the gardeners friends due to the large amounts of slugs and snails they devour. But gardeners are being urged by pond experts not to move frogspawn around for fear of spreading disease and pest species from pond to pond.
Ray Harrington-Vail of the Island’s Pond Warden scheme explains,
“Diseases of amphibians appear to have increased in the last few years. One way we can help stop the spread of disease is to avoid moving creatures and spawn from one waterbody to another.”
“It is fine to move spawn around within your garden and to place some in an aquarium so you can observe it but don’t pass it around your neighbourhood or the rest of the UK.”
“Excess spawn should be left for the birds – that’s natures way…most spawn is not destined to survive…”
“You cannot make wildlife live in your pond. They choose a habitat that suits them. If you don’t have frogs then it maybe because your pond is in the wrong location or your garden is too tidy.
“Creating a ‘woodery’ near the pond – a rotting timber version of a rockery -is great for all kinds of wildlife… .”
Island Pond Wardens are also advising pond owners not be alarmed if dead frogs are found.
“The cold weather will result in some wildlife casualties.” Said Ray.
“The important thing is not to over-react. Do NOT clean out your pond – that can do more harm than good. Avoid using mains water in any pond. Chlorine, whilst being beneficial to human health, can be deadly to wildlife.”
Footprint Trust – Pond Wardens 01983 822282