We felt as though the hand of Kenneth Grahame was at work this week at Genus HQ when the lawn was alive with tiny toadlets all migrating from the pond in search of their terrestrial winter quarters. They first appeared in the pond towards the end of March as ribbons of spawn draped around the aquatic plants like strings of Christmas tinsel. Once hatched they began feeding off detritus and algae, soon putting on weight before developing legs and losing their tails. They seemed to disappear for several weeks before turning up on the lawn and around the pond edges a few days ago.
UK toad populations have plummeted by over 65% in the last 30 years so we’re extremely happy to be welcoming this threatened and protected amphibian into our garden. With their penchant for slugs and other insects they’re a valuable ally to have in the garden where they make their homes in and around the dry stone walls that border the south side of our garden. With a recent visit from Moley who decided that our lawn was a good spot to practice his subterranean prospecting, all we need is for Badger and Ratty to turn up and we’ll have the full cast for our own production of Wind in the Willows.