Frogs who frequent the boating pond in Harrogate’s Valley Gardens are finding it easier to get out thanks to three new ramps that have been installed to help them hop out of the water.
The ramps were constructed around the boating pond back in January this year, on one of the regular occasions when the pond is drained and refilled – and since then the frogs have taken to their new ramps like…ducks to water (who can also use the ramps, if they feel like it).
Harrogate Borough Council’s Parks and Environmental Services team decided to put the ramps in after they were contacted by resident Graham Shatz, who campaigns for wildlife – and who knows a thing or two about frogs. Graham had noticed that the frogs could get in to the boating pond without a problem, but were finding it difficult to climb out – making them easy prey for the local heron population.
Graham said: Valley Gardens has a terrific selection of frogs and toads but, as is the case with many ornamental ponds and boating lakes in public parks and country houses, the straight sides of the boating pond make it difficult for the creatures to make a quick exit, leaving them vulnerable to predators and drowning.
I explained this to the parks team, and they have been fantastic; there are now three new ramps so that the frogs and toads – indeed, any wildlife and livestock that falls in – can get out again, and I would urge people to think about putting ramps in their own ponds and water features as well.
Patrick Kilburn, Head of Parks and Environmental Services at Harrogate Borough Council, said: Following Graham contacting us and being committed to protecting all wildlife in our parks we decided to see what we could do.
As a result the team set to designing an escape to ensure that the frogs were safe. Since they have been installed we’re getting reports that they have been effective.