Despite the cold start to spring the water temperature in our Ellicar Pool is creeping up the thermometer and a sure sign is the frogspawn hatching en masse in the regeneration areas around the pool edges.
We are delighted to see so much frog spawn this year which could be from 4th generation frogs as our pool is now six years old.
This lovely mass of tadpoles will be kept in balance by the pure, low nutrient water, the newts will feed on them as will our resident kingfisher, so in fact the right amount of tadpoles for a balanced pool will survive and emerge as tiny froglets in early summer.
Children spend hours fascinated, watching the tadpoles develop, both from the sides of the pool and in the water with a mask and snorkel.
We have boosted the habitat for our pool amphibians by planting new perennials and grasses in a naturalistic meadow style, close to the water’s edge.
During winter the plants are left standing as attractive seed heads – the grasses are particularly beautiful lit up with the low winter sun around the water.
This valuable cover in winter gives the amphibians, and other wildlife somewhere to hibernate and survive winter, and we enjoy watching finches feeding together on the seed heads throughout winter.
Cutting back the borders in spring, we actually leave the foliage as a valuable mulch on the ground, both for the wildlife and to suppress weed growth. It also makes our life easier as there is less to cart away!
It is very easy to find tiny frogs and toads nestling under the cool swathes of grasses in the borders at any time of year and great to see the biodiversity our Natural Pool has brought to the garden.