Love your frogs this Valentine’s Day!

The local environmental charity The Footprint Trust have just published a seasonal guide for caring for wildlife ponds. In partnership with Southern Water they have produced a colourful leaflet giving useful information on the best time of year to care for this important habitat.

They point out that ponds should never be ‘spring-cleaned’ as frogs and other creatures traditionally were thought to find their mate on St Valentine’s Day, and thus should not be disturbed!

The leaflet warns of the dangers of invasive pest plants, and introducing disease into you’re a wildlife pond, by transferring creatures.  It also has handy tips of pond-dipping, including how to make a cheap kit for that purpose.

The Trust, the local IW Green Gym conservation group and Southern Water staff has spent the last few months helping schools and communities bring their wildlife ponds back into use. The following primary schools have so far been assisted; Newport, Carisbrooke, St Mary’s RC, Barton, Wroxall, Godshill, Cowes and St Helen’s. Which means that pupils can enjoy their ponds in the coming warmer months.

Speaking for The Footprint Trust, Mark Russell said

“It has been a wonderful opportunity to bring school ponds back into use, and help children appreciate their local wildlife. The environment has been improved and young people inspired to care about it.”

“We are very grateful to everyone at Southern Water for all their help and support.”

Yasmin Sanders, Community Engagement Officer at Southern Water:

“We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with the Trust to provide havens for wildlife and places for children and families to enjoy and learn.

 “Many of our employees live and work in the community and we are proud to play our part in supporting a project which is offering a range of educational activities and helping local people to look after their ponds and protect the environment and wildlife around us.”

Copies of the leaflet can be picked up from libraries across the Island and from The Riverside Centre in Newport. A pdf of the leaflet can also be found on The Footprint Trust and Southern Water websites.