In the last 100 years, the UK has lost 75% of its natterjack toad breeding sites. Of those remaining, 50% can be found in Cumbria making this county the UK’s stronghold for this charismatic little creature. Natterjack toads are Britain’s loudest amphibian. The call of the males can be heard up to a kilometre away! Their raucous serenade attracts the females to the pools to breed. Due to the historical massive decline, ARC has been at the forefront of a concerted effort to maintain and restore the range of this endangered animal.

Distribution in Cumbria 

Cumbrian Natterjacks are mainly restricted to the coastal fringe. They currently occur at about 23 sites dotted all the way up from Barrow-in-Furness in the south to the Solway Firth in the north.

The best site in Cumbria, to see and hear natterjacks is the National Trust owned Sandscale Haws National Nature Reserve just north of Barrow-in-Furness.

The reserve has one of the largest natterjack population in the UK and the National Trust has created two breeding pools which are easily accessible on boardwalks from the car park.The Wardens run evening walks in the spring to hear the male chorus. Click here to find out more

How and why should we conserve Cumbrian natterjacks?

Patrick Davis a student at the University of Cumbria put together a film in 2012 about Cumbria's natterjack toad populations and why these animals are important and efforts should be made to conserve them.

The film was made at Sandscale Haws and has interviews with Neil Forbes, the National trust warden there, and Bill Shaw, previously from ARC.

Volunteers are a crucial element to this vital work. If you would like to learn more about natterjacks or how you could help, please  get in touch! We look forward to hearing from you.

Yvette Martin - Amphibian Conservation Officer