Ponds prepared to support rarest amphibian in Wales

Work has been carried out to freshen up the home of a rare UK animal this year.

Denbighshire County Council’s Biodiversity Team and Countryside Service have linked up with project partners to carry out important work to protect a rare species at Gronant Dunes.

Council staff were recently joined by representatives from the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Eni UK Ltd, The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, Cheshire Wildlife Trust and Bourne Leisure Ltd at the Gronant Ponds to spruce up the area in support of local natterjack toads.

Natterjack Toad populations were once widespread across North Wales, but changes to land use and developments saw a total decline of the species in the region which became extinct in Wales in the 1950s before being reintroduced in N.E. Wales along the Gronant and Talacre dune system

Ponds were created at Gronant Dunes over two decades ago with tadpoles transferred from Sefton to populate the area.

Habitat management work carried out by the partners included the uncovering and raking of the existing ponds and cutting back of the surrounding foliage to allow the natterjack toad a chance to breed and survive on the site.

Liam Blazey, Senior Biodiversity Officer said: “The natterjack toads prefer shallow pools on dunes so it’s really vital that we keep maintaining these ponds to do our best to protect such a rare UK species.

“To have the support of all these groups at the site to help carry out this work has been fantastic and it will go a long way to making this area a real beneficial area to protect this species.

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “It is so important that we do everything we can to protect our nature, especially those elements under threat like the natterjack toad. We are grateful for all who have helped prepare this important site to give this vital support to this species.”