What should I do with a frog in my garden?
March is the time of year when you are likely to see frogs in your garden.
Wet spring weather and the desire to find a mate may well mean that you’ll spot a frog in your garden, even if you don’t have a pond.
The first thing to do is don’t touch it. British frogs aren’t poisonous but they do have sensitive skin, so you trying to catch it by hand will both stress it and your warm dry hands may damage it. Just step back quietly and calmly, maybe take a picture and then leave it be. If you have a dog just calmly pull them back from the frog too.
Should I put a frog back in the pond?
No, if you have a pond it will know it is there and will go to it of its own accord if it wants to. Frogs actually spend more time out of garden ponds than in them and only take to the water to breed or to cool down. Again just leave it. Even if you don’t have a pond it will be fine in the cover of long grass or under some bushes. If you feel your garden is blocked off, don’t worry on that front either. The frog found its way in, maybe under a fence panel or under a garden shed, and it will be able to find its way back out if it wants to. The same goes for other amphibians and for baby frogs. They can actually drown in ponds so if you find them outside of the pond, that's where they should stay.
How can I attract frogs to my garden?
Create lots of suitable habitats for it to hide and find food in, like log piles and a compost heap. If you want frogs to breed in your garden you’ll need a wildlife pond. Dig a shallow pond a few feet across and lay a pond liner. Fill with water, dechlorinate, plant with native pond plant species and leave. The frogs will find it and with luck, they’ll spawn there. You’re not allowed to move frogs or newts so just create a wildlife-friendly, fish-free pond at ground level, they will find it and it will naturally colonise with pond life.
If you find frogspawn in the pond, leave it there as its the best place for it. The pond will be full of microscopic organisms, algae and detritus for the tadpoles to feed on. As they grow you can supplement their food with Swell Tadpole Food.
Even if you find frogs during pond maintenance, they are best moved to somewhere quiet and secluded in the garden straight away, than stored in a container and stressed out until the pond is refilled.
What’s the difference between a frog and a toad?
Frogs have longer back legs, and shinier, greener skin. They are much more capable jumpers and can move quickly across the garden. Toads are browner, fatter and shorter, with shorter back legs and bumpy brown skin. Frogspawn is a large jelly mass, whereas toads lay eggs in long strings. Both frogs and toads can be found in gardens in the UK.
What to do if you find a toad in the garden
The Common toad is even less amphibious than frogs, and only visit ponds to breed. Toads often hide underneath rubbish or even in dry multi purpose compost. They can commonly be found nowhere near ponds so if you find one leave it there or if you need to move it, put it somewhere shady and sheltered nearby. It shouldn't be put into water.
What to do if you find newts in the garden
Newts may be found buried in the soil and if you find them there, leave them as they may be hibernating. Newts do spend time in water hunting but again, if you find it out of the pond it should be left out of the pond. The Great Crested Newt is protected so must not be handled or moved, and no native amphibians should be moved from water bodies from place to place as there is a risk of spreading disease.