National Trust Area Ranger for the Lizard, Rachel Holder, looks at why frogs appear to be so eager to breed in Cornwall following the discovery of frogspawn in November.
The common frog Rana temporaria is a familiar sight across the UK. In any shallow standing water you are likely to come across tell-tale clumps of spawn, and tadpoles and froglets vying for survival, not above eating their siblings if needs must!
But just when can you expect to find frogspawn and tadpoles in your local pond? The simple answer might be spring for spawn and summer for tadpoles, but delve deeper and this doesn’t quite stand up to scrutiny.
Here on the Lizard, in the far south-west of the UK, our mild climate gives lots of species a head start, but our frogs have taken this further than most! This year I first saw frog spawn on 21st November, which is early, but not unheard of in a Cornish context.
The gamble of getting ahead in the breeding game must be worth taking, and the risk of a severe cold-snap which could freeze the spawn worth braving.