Access ramps installed - for Harrogate’s frogs

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Frog ramps have been installed at a boating pond in Harrogate to ensure the animals can climb its steep walls.

Three ramps have been installed by Harrogate Borough Council after a concerned resident spotted the amphibians struggling to exit the pond.

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“Valley Gardens has a terrific selection of frogs and toads but, as is the case with many ornamental ponds and boating lakes in public parks and country houses, the straight sides of the boating pond make it difficult for the creatures to make a quick exit, leaving them vulnerable to predators and drowning,” said wildlife campaigner Graham Shatz, fearful they would be targeted by heron for a snack.

“I explained this to the parks team, and they have been fantastic; there are now three new ramps so that the frogs and toads – indeed, any wildlife and livestock that falls in - can get out again, and I would urge people to think about putting ramps in their own ponds and water features as well.”

The ramps were built when the pond was drained and refilled - and the authority has said the frogs are taking to it “like a duck to water”.

“Following Graham contacting us and being committed to protecting all wildlife in our parks we decided to see what we could do,” said Patrick Kilburn, head of parks and environmental services.

“As a result the team set to designing an escape to ensure that the frogs were safe. Since they have been installed we’re getting reports that they have been effective.”

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