Southport Pupils Muck In To Help Natterjacks

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Pupils Muck In To Help Natterjacks

Pupils from King’s Meadow Primary School, Ainsdale, played an important part in enriching the habitat of one of Sefton’s most endangered species.

The enthusiastic group helped remove rotting vegetation from the dune ponds at Formby – known as slacks – ahead of Natterjack toads returning from their winter hibernation.

The fresh water slacks are essential breeding grounds for the Natterjacks, who prefer warm shallow water with sandy, clear areas for their spawn to develop. Large amounts of vegetation can interfere with the breeding cycle and also encourage other species of amphibian to the detriment of the toads.

The pupils will revisit the site in the summer to see the fruits of their hard work.

The event was organised as part of the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership Scheme’s ‘My Coast My Future’ project, in conjunction with teaching staff from the Southport Eco Centre and Sefton Council’s Coast and Countryside team.

David Currie, Year 5 teacher at Kings Meadow, said: “As a class, we were thrilled to be chosen to take part in this exciting project. The children have learnt about the importance of conservation through a fun, hands on approach.

“Everyone had a great time clearing out the slacks and we can’t wait to revisit in the summer to see the result of the children’s hard work.”   Following the event, the Year 5 pupils teamed up to prepare a summary of their thoughts about the day.

This read: “Even though we got wet feet we loved to scrape the slacks to maintain habitats for the Natterjack toads.   “We are really lucky to have them here in Sefton as they are an endangered species. What we did today really helped as they can’t grab a rake and move the weed themselves!”

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