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How to make a Frog Friendly pond

Frogs face many problems in their day-to-day lives, not the least being to find somewhere to live and raise their families. Why not build a wildlife pond at your school or in the garden at home.

Even if you have a pond, here are some points you need to remember to make it "Frog Friendly". But don't forget, this is a frog friendly pond so the frogs should be allowed to come and go as they please and should not be kept as pets. If conditions are right, many species will return to the same pond year after year.

1. Think about what material you want your pond to be made of. Perhaps the most popular option is a suitably sized pond (at least a metre and a half across, and the depth of the middle no greater than 60-70cm). Line the hole with plastic or PVC pond liner, available from Creative Pumps. For a simple option, pre-cast fibreglass pond shells are an excellent option.

2. Find a suitable pond location. A frog pond should be positioned so that roughly two-thirds of the surface is in shade. Some sunshine is an essential for algae growth and other aquatic vegetation. These plants are ideal food for tadpoles.

3. There should be plants near the edge hanging over into the pond for spawn to be laid in. Local native plants are the best as they create a back yard environment closely resembling the frogs' habitat in the wild. It is best to have a diversity of plants, including; trees, shrubs, grasses, climbers, sedges, ferns, and a few aquatic species for the pond.

4. Let the grass grow long around the edge of the pond or plant low sheltering plants because froglets will need this habitat to hide in and to call from during mating season.

5. Choose insect attracting plants, as this will help to provide a food source for frogs and will attract other animals. Your local nursery will be able to help you out here.

6.Place logs and rocks around the pond to provide a natural habitat and shelter for the frogs

Raising Tadpoles

A tadpole's needs are fairly simple. A must is clean fresh water free of chemicals and chlorine. If you use tap water, let it stand in the sunshine for 5 or 6 days. This allows the chlorine to dissipate. The most popular food for tadpoles to eat is algae and decomposing vegetable matter. But, the best thing to feed your tadpoles would be small amounts of boiled lettuce leaves. Just be sure to wash the leaves thoroughly to remove any chemical residue. Boil the leaves in a saucepan, drain and cool, and then roll into small balls. They can be frozen for later use. Tadpoles should be fed enough so they don't start munching on each others tails but not too much that it pollutes the water.