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Frogspawn


by Richard Jones

On Sunday I spotted the first frogspawn of the year in the stream running through Peckham Rye Park... there was a lot of it, more than I would have attributed to a single frog.


FrogspawnOn Sunday I spotted the first frogspawn of the year in the stream running through Peckham Rye Park. I say stream, it's more of a municipal water feature, with narrow stretches of running water between a series of small pondlets and gentle water falls.

There was a lot of it, more than I would have attributed to a single frog. I stuck my fingers in to pull some out to show the children, and was surprised to find how difficult it was to separate. It must be 40 years since I last wrestled with some and I'd forgotten how clumped it becomes. As I tried to pick up an 'end', it just tumbled out of my palm, back into the water, dragged by the weight of the rest of the gelatinous mass.

Eventually I tore a section off and plopped it into the Tupperware box that had, until recently, held the squirrels' peanuts. Everyone thought this was pretty cool until 12-year-old held it and remarked "what's this wormy thing?" It was a tiny leech, only about 15mm long, squirming over her hand. I was fascinated and tried to reassure her that it was probably too small to drink her blood, and anyway it was a good sign that the water was unpolluted. She was not impressed and flicked it away indignantly. I'm not going to get her pond-dipping again for some time.



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Gardeners' World Web User 20/03/2007 at 15:54

I have just looked in our pond which is just a narrow strip of water edged with red bricks with various stones and plants at each end. I saw what I thought was some horrible gunge and assumed it was caused by my ducks getting into the pond last summer as they made it very dirty.I have looked again and feel sure it is frogspawn or toads. I only have vague childhood memories of frogspawn. We certainly have had toads. Any ideas?

Gardeners' World Web User 22/03/2007 at 19:24

In the autumn I made the mistake of netting mine to prevent leaves dropping in. However, one morning I found a hedgehog which hadn't been unable to unravel itself... I cannot ever think about it without feeling sick. Please remove your netting!

Gardeners' World Web User 15/03/2008 at 19:27

I found the post by richard jones re wrestling with frogs spawn a little but worrying.surely he would have been kinder to let the spawn hatch naturally and then catch some tadpoles to let the children rear.frogs are already in decline and messing about with their spawn isnt going to help things improve.please richard,leave wild life alone!

Gardeners' World Web User 17/03/2008 at 10:14

I live in Windsor and dug my pond (9' dia) last May and put fish in it in June and have since had baby fish (don't know if they've survived the winter as they didn't appear until September). About 2 weeks ago I could see the surface of the pond was moving and went to investigate to find 4 sets of frogs on the surface (it's netted). A day later i noticed loads of frog spawn and lo and behold they came back again last week and laid some more. You can see the tiny tadpoles being to move in the first lot of spawn. I was so excited, as my pond is new, that wildlife have moved in.

Gardeners' World Web User 19/03/2008 at 10:41

We have had a pond in our garden in Lancashire for two years now and have increasing amounts of wildlife visiting. This year we have an extraordinary amount of frogspawn. At one point we had over 50 frogs in just one 'corner' of the pond. I wonder why they are so active this year?

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