Saturday 20 June 2020

'Plague' of Toadlets

Earlier this week, on 16th June, after the exceptionally heavy rain showers had cleared, Andy M took the opportunity to take a quick walk around Granta Park in the evening sun.

As they approached the lake, they noticed a few tiny Common Toad toadlets hopping across the damp path. However, with every step nearer the lake, 'a few' toadlets soon turned into 'a plague' of toadlets.

Every patch of ground within about 10 metres of the lake edge was absolutely teeming with these tiny young toads - only 5-10mm long - but they were everywhere.  There must have been literally thousands of them, and the whole area alongside the lake seemed to be alive with tiny crawling and hopping movements - almost too small to see, and all apparently heading away from the lake.  It was really quite a sight!

Anne D-N commented that such 'mass movements of literally thousands of young toads from their birth pond' were mentioned in her books, but that 'this usually occurred in July, and often after heavy rain'. Andy had never witnessed this before before on Granta Park, although Richard S did recall something similar happening on the TWI site 10-20 years ago.

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The Aims of Abington Naturewatch

At their meeting on 9 April 2005 the members approved this revised version of the aims of Abington Naturewatch:

  • To monitor and record the wildlife (fauna & flora) within the borders of the Abingtons;
  • To encourage protection of our wildlife, maintain its quality and foster its diversity;
  • To promote awareness of the richness, potential and problems of the natural environment of the Abingtons;
  • To cooperate in improving access to the local natural environment for the benefit of all Abington villagers.

Pat Daunt, Founder

The organisation is informal and communication is by email if possible; members are notified of events from time to time. Contact details are maintained by a small "project team". There is currently no membership fee as costs are covered by voluntary contributions at events.

Members are encouraged to report notable sightings of flora and fauna within the Abingtons to the appropriate sector coordinator and an illustrated record is published annually.

A map of the area covered, with some features noted, is available here:>

For more information or to join, please contact David Farrant on (01223) 892871.

Contributions to our records should be sent to sector contacts or either of the above. Photographs may also be submitted to Andy Merryweather (