Harrogate frogs get a hopping hand

Valley Gardens frog ramps

12:09pm 20th April 2017

Frogs frequenting the boating pond in Harrogate's Valley Gardens are now finding it easier to hop out of the water, thanks to three new ramps.

They were installed around the pond in January, on one of the regular occasions when it is drained and refilled, and the frogs have taken to the ramps like ducks to water (ducks can also use the ramps, if they feel like it).

Harrogate Borough Council's Parks and Environmental Services team decided to put the ramps in after they were contacted by local resident Graham Shatz, who campaigns for wildlife and knows a thing or two about frogs.

He had noticed that the frogs could get into the boating pond without a problem, but were finding it difficult to climb out - making them easy prey for the local heron population.

Graham said: "Valley Gardens has a terrific selection of frogs and toads but, as is the case with many ornamental ponds and boating lakes in public parks and country houses, the straight sides of the boating pond make it difficult for the creatures to make a quick exit, leaving them vulnerable to predators and drowning.

"I explained this to the parks team, and they have been fantastic; there are now three new ramps so that the frogs and toads - indeed, any wildlife and livestock that falls in - can get out again, and I would urge people to think about putting ramps in their own ponds and water features as well."

Patrick Kilburn, Head of Parks and Environmental Services at Harrogate Borough Council, added: "Following Graham contacting us and being committed to protecting all wildlife in our parks, we decided to see what we could do.

"As a result, the team set to designing an escape to ensure that the frogs were safe. Since they have been installed, we're getting reports that they have been effective."

Valley Gardens frog ramps

One of the resident frogs in Valley Gardens

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