We’ve spent a lot of time morning noon and night around our fabulous ponds this month. Including a recently enhanced a wildlife pond at Auchnacraig Forest Park in West Dunbartonshire. The pond has the addition of a brand new boardwalk and dipping platform. It’s hoped the new features will rejuvenate the pond and allow local people the opportunity to see and learn more about the amphibians and aquatic invertebrates that can be found in this habitat.
“James and Clare were really enthusiastic, knowledgeable and more than happy to answer questions, great, thank you” is what one participant wrote about the evening survey training hosted at Avon Glen’s network of ponds restored by Froglife in partnership with several local organisations. James netted a beautiful female Great Crested Newt, on his initial dip. It was a first view for many of the delighted attendees.
We were then treated to 25◦C uninterrupted sunshine in the idyllic setting of Kilfinan Community forest during a day of educational workshops, crafts and pond dipping with all pupils from Tighnabruich primary school.
We’ve not just been pond based though. Saturday 30th April was the 8th annual international Save the Frogs Day and Froglife were very lucky to have our Dragons on the Move road-show at the Highland Wildlife Park for the day. Save the Frogs Day is the largest day of amphibian education and conservation action with events taking place worldwide to raise awareness of the decline of amphibians. One participant at our stand even made a tribute to the critically endangered Lehmann’s Poison Frog, Oophaga lehmanni, found in Colombia.
Good fun was had by all participants in two primary schools in the borders when we visited to share a range of activities designed to teach children more about: amphibians and reptiles; their habitats and how we can help them. Even the P1 pupils turned their hand to classification and sorting keys.
Also, The new Dragon Tails play had its first outing with the SDF team last Wednesday when the team went along to the 1st Auchterarder Brownies meeting. The Brownies were given a brief introductory talk on the native amphibian and reptile species and we were impressed with how much the group already knew about our herpetofauna friends. We then jumped straight into assigning parts to each of the Brownies so that we could run through the play with them once before we left. All the girls quickly picked up their lines and they were intuitively including feeling into their roles which was great to see. After the practice and showing them which props to use, we summed up and everyone seemed excited to learn their parts and make some costumes for us coming back in a few weeks time to see them perform, which we are very much looking forward to.