Farmer shows the way with wildlife pond
Appeared on Space For Nature on August 14th 2003
A hill farmer in North Yorkshire has restored a farmyard pond as a haven for local frogs.
Paul Coppen supplies London restaurants with beef from his herd of Belted Galloway cattle, but is equally passionate about the wildlife on his farm. When he moved to the farm in 1975 he noticed a boggy area where there would often be a lot of frogspawn which rarely survived as the area dried out over the summer. Recently he decided to excavate the area and found, to his surprise, a clay liner complete with embedded river stones. The newly cleared pond was soon filled with frog spawn but local mallard ducks apparently developed a taste for the spawn, reducing the success rate from the frog's point of view.
Paul's solution was to create a wire mesh cage over the area of the pond where most of the frogs spawned. The mesh kept the ducks out but was large enough for frogs (even clasping pairs) to pass through. Any spawn found outside the cage was moved to within its protective enclosure. And in a further gesture of good 'frogmanship', Paul suspends an old frying pan full of congealed dripping in the pond which the older tadpoles apparently devour with gusto! It's frog heaven!
Back to home page
Do you live in Merseyside? Interested in its wildlife?