The Common Toad at Merrybower
Since day one, back in 2007, we’ve had Common Toads here. They tended to live under the hedgerows, and in field margins where the headland was allowed to grow. A neighbour had several ponds which may have helped with spawning, but in recent years they have been filled in, yet the toad population is still apparent. We can only put this down to the fact we have quite a few local ponds within half a mile. Since we have altered the land use of our patch from the previous monoculture of the farm to a diverse collection of plant types, it has also encouraged toads, who collect here to to no doubt feast on the slugs, snails and various bugs that live in and on our plants. They particularly seem to like the mulch under the raspberries and the strawberry patch, where it stays nice and damp most of the day.
The Common Toad in General
The growth of garden ponds has, to some extent, preserved the toad’s place in the UK as farming methods have filled in ponds on field margins over the last few years. A toad will travel up to one mile back to the spawning pond, which would explain why we have so many, being near old railway ponds. One of their favourite foods, believe it or not, are ants when they are young. This, along with the fact they love snails, slugs and larvae of all descriptions, makes them a gardener’s best friend.
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