Sight of thou­sands of toads has dis­ap­peared

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Business Kent Update -

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

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