Helen

Nature detectives – part 4!

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Amazing amphibians

That’s frogs, toads and newts – they start off life in water then live mostly on land, returning to water to breed.

Pond life

If you have a pond in your garden, this is the time common frogs could be looking for a winter shelter, like a compost heap or the bottom of a pond.

An upturned plant pot with a gap in the side put in a quiet, damp corner of your garden will make a good shelter for a frog (or a toad) – their very own Toad Hall!

Credit: Frog/Wikimedia commons/Penny Mayes

Gardeners’ friends

Talking of toads, common toads are fascinating amphibians that are great to have in the garden – apart from being stunning to look at with their amber-coloured eyes, they eat slugs and other unwanted garden visitors.

During the day common toads stay in holes in the ground and damp places like leaf piles, log piles or compost heaps. They’re more active at night.

Credit: Toad/Wikimedia commons/Patrick Connolly

That’s newts to me!

Newts leave the water for their living-on-land phase in summer and will soon be finding shelter for the winter under rocks, compost heaps or in the mud. If you’re lucky, you may see them close to ponds or streams, particularly around long grass or leaf litter.

If you ever find a newt under a rock or log, please leave them alone and replace their hiding place very carefully, as disturbing them could hurt them.

And don’t forget to make notes on what you’ve found and where – and take photos – you never know, you might become a naturalist one day, like Sir David Attenborough or Chris Packham!

Credit: Newt/Wikimedia commons/Pam Fray

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