The northern clade pool frog reintroduction project formed part of the Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership Scheme for Norfolk and Suffolk Brecks. The scheme was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) between 2015 and 2016 and a wide range of partners.

The story of the pool frog is an intriguing one. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the species was confirmed native to England; unfortunately, this proved too late, the last remaining pool frog colony found at Thompson Common in Norfolk was considered official extinct by 1995.  Pool frog numbers dropped dramatically during the 19th and 20th centuries as a result of loss and damage to their fenland and breckland habitats.

In the mid-2000s a decision was taken to attempt reintroduction, in line with the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and the Habitats Directive. ARC helped to write a detailed reintroduction strategy (download for free here), which was then implemented with help from a range of partners including Anglian Water, Natural England, Forestry Commission, universities and volunteers.

With the first re-introduction site proving a success, ARC (with the support of Natural England, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and funding through Breaking New Grounds Landscape Partnership scheme) made the decision to bring back the pool frog to its last known breeding site at Thompson Common in Norfolk.  For this release, pool frogs were transferred from the first Norfolk reintroduction site. You can read more about the project in our leaflet 'Re-introducing the northern pool frog to NWT Thompson Common, Norfolk'.

Pool frog clinical exams 

Pool frog tadpoles

Measuring the head-starting tadpoles prior to release

Pool frogs acclimatising prior to release

For more information about Thompson Common and the species found there on the Norfolk Wildlife Trust website

Photo credit: Institute of Zoology