Frogs are generally abundant at Natural Surroundings. They spawn in several places, including the pond in the Woodland Garden, the Wildlife Pond and the ditch, but much of the spawn is apparently eaten by Mallards. Nevertheless, plenty of young froglets are seen in the summer.
Toads are common at Bayfield, although we do not usually see spawn. They like to lurk in shady, sheltered spots, and sometimes take up residence in the polytunnels, where they are very welcome as they feed on slugs.
Smooth Newst are common at Bayfield, and even survive in the pond-dipping pool in the Tea Gardens, where from which they are regularly netted by happy children (and parents!). We sometimes find hibernating newts, which seem to be able to squeeze into the tiniest places.
We have only recorded Slow-worm on a couple of dates in the last five years, appropriately enough in our ‘Reptile Refuge’. As they can be quite common in the surrounding woods it is a bit of a mystery why we see so few, but as we continue to manage Natural Surroundings for wildlife, we hope to improve on our score.
We have only recorded one Lizard in five years, this preganant moulting female in June 2016. As with Slow-worm, we would expect to see more of them given the large expanses of dry sandy woodland and scrub around us, but perhaps the huge population of Commn Pheasants on the Estate takes its toll?