DEAN GREEN TEAM

Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean

Gloucestershire

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17 March 2020

Mallards Pike Lake

Grid Ref SO637088

 

 

Due to the self imposed Coronavirus restrictions we had a smaller team with us at Mallards Pike. However, we felt that being in the open air and keeping our distances was sufficient to avoid infection. The roads through the forest were eerily quiet today and only a few visitors walked round Mallards Pike.

Therefore, we built a few fires and cleared the debris of fallen trees which had lain in the area for over a year.

 

 

 

 

The area by the small bridge had a stream leading into the lake and fallen branches were on both sides.

 

 

 

 

We are hoping that the area will now produce more flowers as it is no longer smothered by masses of deep twigs. There are good signs of plentiful Foxgloves starting to grow.

 

 

 

 

This is a pair of large toads we found mating.

The males mount the females' backs, grasping them with their fore limbs under the armpits in a grip that is known as amplexus. A successful male stays in amplexus for several days and, as the female lays a long, double string of small black eggs, he fertilises them with his sperm. As the pair wander piggyback around the shallow edges of the lake, the gelatinous egg strings, which may contain 3000 to 6000 eggs and be 3 to 4.5 metres (10 to 15 ft) in length, get tangled in plant stalks