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Encouraging frogs & toads to your garden

Although toads tend to return to the pond in which they were born, we can help and encourage them into our gardens by creating a small pond or ‘watery walkway’.

It’s easy and really fun to do! Introducing a watery walkway may encourage toads into your garden on their migration back to their natal ponds or perhaps even encourage them to lay spawn in your pond!

What you'll need...

  • One shallow container such as a bin lid, washing up bowl or plastic container.
  • A nice corner of your garden for your watery walkway to go
  • A small spade to dig a hole for your container to sit in
  • Small stones & pebbles to go in and around your watery walkway
  • Ideally rain water to fill watery walkway
  • Plants from a reliable supplier ; recommended plants are Rigid hornwort & Whorled water
  • Toads can live in standing water so there is no need for a pump or electricity.

How long will it take?

It will probably take you about an hour to gather your equipment, select your location, dig the hole and create your watery walkway. It will take a little longer to collect the rain water to fill your watery walkway (fingers crossed for rain!)  

Making your own watery walkway

  • Choose the spot in your garden where you want your watery walkway to go. Best spots for toads get sunlight with shade in the afternoon. Try to avoid putting it under tree, where too many leaves may fall into the water.
  • Dig a hole the same size as your container (e.g. a washing up bowl or bid lid) in your chosen spot. Ideally you want the edge of the container to be at ground level so toads can easily hop in and out.
  • Fill the bottom of the container with stones and pebbles to create a slope that the toads can climb up and down.
  • It's best to use rainwater if possible instead of tap-water, so place containers in the open to collect rain water to top up your watery walkway.
  • After setting up your rocky slope and adding water, you'll be ready to add native pond plants bought at a responsible seller or garden centre. The plants help to keep the water clear (remember don’t take plants from the wild, leave them were they belong).
  • Surround your pond with pebbles and plants to provide shelter for toads and other animals. Toads like a slightly untidy garden, so they can hide in the longer grasses, so go wild and let it grow (at least around your watery walkway)!
  • You could make a sign to invite guests!
  • It's then time to sit back, relax and keep an eye out for any toady guests.

What to do next

Now that you've made your watery walkway it's really important to us that you let us know using this form (you can upload a photo too).

Record your action

By keeping track of where amazing people like you are creating wildlife friendly spaces we can see the impact we're having.

And don't forget to keep recording the wildlife you see in your local area here: www.chesterzoo.org/record