Wildlife: Amphibians

There are six species in the UK of  frogs, toads, newts. Amphibians can live for much of their adult life out of water but all British species return to water to breed. In Britain amphibians are in decline. Whilst all the reasons for this are not known, habitat loss is without a doubt a major cause. In Britain 75% of ponds have been lost in just 50 years.


Look out for:

  • Breeding activity including spawn of frogs/toads and
    newt eggs. Great-crested newt eggs are white/cream
    and at 4-5mm are much larger than eggs of others
  •  Newly hatched newt tadpoles. On close inspection
    they can easily be distinguished by the feathery
    external gills on either side of the head.

In the UK all native amphibians are afforded some protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The Great Crested Newt is a highly protected species. The law makes it an offence to intentionally or recklessly kill or disturb this species. It is also an offence to damage or destroy their breeding or resting sites. Favoured habitats include larger, well-established ponds without fish, surrounded by scrub or long grass with log piles for hibernation

STOP work immediately and inform your line manager if you think you have found Great Crested Newts.

X  Try to handle amphibians unless there is a good animal welfare reason to do so. They are very delicate and handling may cause harm. In the case of Great Crested Newts it is also an offence to handle them without a licence.