The frog doctor

Froglife helps frogs in ponds in London, England

source: Virginia Ironside
Independent on Sunday Review May 18 2002
starts p13, 2 pages long

Froglife is an organization that provides advice on caring for frogs in garden ponds, and even sends a frog doctor to help people worried about their ponds. There are around 150,000 ponds in the Greater London area, and these ponds are important for the survival of amphibian species, especially since many rural ponds have been polluted by pesticides.

The frog doctor, Nick Meade, gives free visits, funded by the Bridge House Estates Trust, which is an important funder of London environmental charities. He estimates that 95% of London ponds he knows of house frogs, while 75% have newts, and 20% are homes to toads. Frogs like ground cover round ponds, so they can escape from predators. They can also use ramps to get out of ponds. An excess of nutrients can turn water green with algae, which is not a good environment for frogs. Leaves should be removed before they sink, and left once they have sunk. Rainwater is better than tap water, and ponds should be at a distance from compost heaps.

Water fleas and oxygenating plants can help provide a good environment for frogs. The fleas can be found in ponds, and feed algae, so clean up ponds affected by an excess of nutrients.