The frogs are back in town

Friday 17th February 2017

photo Richard Clark

The sun is shining, so that can only mean one thing! The frogs are back in the pond at Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s St Nicholas Park reserve in Gosforth. So why not head out to the reserve and see (and hear) them?

Duncan Hutt, Head of Land Management at the Trust says: “The frogs always return to the pond a couple of days after the Brit Awards but this year they are early, so who needs Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran when we have the frogs making their own sweet music! Their arrival onto the reserve really lifts the spirits of staff after the long winter months.”

At the same time, the Trust has issued its annual plea for people to help prevent a conservation catastrophe occurring in the region.

People may think they are doing frogs a good turn moving frog spawn from their own ponds into other ponds in the area, but this can lead to severe contamination and pose a threat to the frogs, toads and newts living in the area.

Frogs in particular are at risk from two deadly diseases; the first one chytrid fungus clogs their pores and, as they breathe through their skin, causes them to choke. This fungus has already been responsible for amphibian extinction in various parts of the world.

The second disease which is commonly referred to as ‘red legs’ causes the skin to drop off their legs subjecting them to a very slow and painful death. This condition is incurable and is worryingly on the increase in various parts of the UK.