We love frogs (and toads and newts) at Langford Lowfields but we love fish as well, and the fish are blossoming in our main lakes. Unfortunately, the fish like to eat the spawn and young amphibians, so we had this great idea to give the frogs a home of their own.

 

We have had some serious machinery on site to dig out nine ponds for the amphibians to breed in. The ponds are isolated from the main reedbeds to keep the hungry fish out.

 

photo, Joe Harris, RSPB Site Manager

This new, exciting development has been funded by a donation from the Collingham Community Trust and by a generous donation made in memory of John Clayton, who lived in Collingham.

 

Two of our new ponds can be seen at the western end of the boardwalk, and they are starting to fill with water already, so they will be ready for the breeding season next spring. They have been dug in various places, and at various depths, so there should always be a good soggy habitat regardless of whether we get a wet or dry spring. The ponds will dry out a lot during the summer, but this will discourage the fish from moving in.

 

The ponds will take a couple of years to become lush and full of plants, but then there will be things for the spawn to stick to, and for the tadpoles to hide amongst. Eventually we’ll be aiming to get plants like water lilies and yellow flag iris established and these will provide good nectar sources, insect landing pads and hiding places. This will make it a superb habitat for dragonflies and damselflies.

 photo, Joe Harris, RSPB Site Manager

So, next time you are at Langford, look out for our new froggy residences and then, next spring, come back again, to see who is making them their home.

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