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Amphibians, frogs, toads and newts, can be beneficial garden creatures which will predate on a wide range of invertebrates. They can be encouraged by providing a pond where tadpoles can develop. At least one side of the pool should gradually slope up to dry land. Adult frogs and toads can be encouraged by providing log piles and other damp habitats in which they can shelter.
Frogs in a garden pond. Credit: Paul Bullivant/RHS The Garden.
Britain has two native frogs, two toads, and three species of newts.
These animals feed on a wide range of insects, spiders and other small invertebrate animals, including some garden pests.
These beneficial garden creatures can be helped by providing a pond where the tadpoles can develop.
Newts are probably the most aquatic of British amphibians. Attract them by allowing grass to grow over the pond edge into the water and introducing non-invasive submerged aquatic plants. Newts use narrow-leaved water plants on which to lay their eggs, placing each egg between a folded leaf. In the autumn, amphibians seek sheltered places away from ponds where they hibernate until the following spring.
Transferring spawn or tadpoles from other ponds runs the risk of spreading diseases, such as red leg disease of frogs, or introducing invasive pond weeds that can quickly choke the pond with vegetation
To avoid disturbing amphibians, especially in the hibernation period, ponds should not be cleaned out unless this is really necessary
Have you seen any sick or dead amphibians or other wildlife in your garden? Register and report it on the Garden Wildlife Health website
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