Sight of thousands of toads has disappeared
As spring gets into full swing please bear in mind how a rough time the toad is having in Britain and Romney Marsh and Dungeness is no exception to this general downward trend. Toads are quite fussy when it comes to choosing where to breed. You can come across them in a garden pond or even under flower pots, but they do tend to like large and established ponds, lakes and ditches. They tend to favour deep water which is clear of choked vegetation. The female will lay up to 10ft or a couple of metres of jellylike string of spawn, with as many as 7,000 eggs, which is entangled within waterside plants. It’s different to the frog spawn you might see in your garden pond. Toads eat worms, beetles, woodlice and other creepy crawlies. On Romney Marsh they tend to breed in a selected few large ditches or sewers in New Romney, Dymchurch and Appledore and some gravel pits at Dungeness. However, at Dungeness where in the summer a decade ago, thousands of young toads, or toadlets, would be seen leaving the pits on warm damp evenings after developing from tadpoles, this scene has now virtually disappeared.
For more information contact Owen Leyshon, Romney Marsh Countryside Partnership, telephone 01797 367934 or log on to www.rmcp.co.uk