Frogs eager to breed in Cornwall

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.


Frogspawn found on the Lizard by National Trust Ranger, Rachel Holder. Credit National Trust images, Rachel Holder.

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.

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New chough chicks at Lizard Point

National Trust and RSPB volunteers are celebrating the arrival of new chough chicks at Lizard Point.

Lizard Wildlife Watchpoint, Credit Catherine Lee (National Trust ©)

The discovery comes after a dramatic end for the original pair who had pioneered the natural return of choughs to Cornwall in 2001, raising 46 chicks. In late May last year the male bird died defending his territory against a young male who then paired up with the female. Two weeks later she too disappeared, leaving the young male to raise the chicks alone. After a month of hard, lonely work the younger male managed to successfully raise the youngsters who fledged in July last year.

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