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Toads hop it to Southerness

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By Donald Turvill
Dumfries and West
Toads hop it to Southerness
NEW HOME . . . one of four scrapes being created on site to support the potential breeding of Natterjacks

A LOCAL holiday spot is set to welcome a rare species of tourist.

Southerness Holiday Park has recently developed a new habitat for one of the UK’s most uncommon amphibians – the Natterjack Toad.

The park’s owner, Parkdean Resorts, has been investing in the creation of four scrapes on site to support the potential breeding of Natterjacks, which are only found in a handful of locations in Britain.

And Southerness has been identified as the most northerly site in the UK that has been colonised naturally by the croaking creatures.

Work on the carefully considered project has been carried out by Parkdean Resorts with the support of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Natural Scotland Heritage and NatureScot, which approved the creation of the scrapes just outside the Upper Solway Flats and Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designated site.

Simon Drury, head of sustainability and conservation at Parkdean Resorts, said: “Southerness is a key breeding colony for Natterjack toads, so this is really important conservation work which will also offer a wider benefit to wildlife, and local people as well. The park is very close to the SSSI and we’re always conscious of maintaining and protecting the local ecosystem, so we’re delighted to be able to contribute to help create breeding grounds for such a rare species.”

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