Not many schools can claim to have natterjack toads on their doorsteps but St Matthews CE Primary School in Blackmoor village lies within a few hundred metres of the ARC managed sites at Blackmoor and Woolmer Forest, the latter home to the last of the original heathland populations of this rare toad in the UK.

Oak and Apple classes at St Matthew’s have spent their last term studying the natterjack toad; considering the natterjack’s life-cycle, why it is endangered, the current locations of the natterjack toad in the UK and which habitats are best for them.

After a school visit from ARC to explain about the different amphibians and reptiles we have in the UK and their habitats, focusing on the local natterjack toads, the pupils and teachers came up with some innovative ways of spreading the word about natterjack conservation and raising money for ARC at the same time, including:

  • Writing leaflets and delivering them to the local community
  • Designing a pond with the winning design picked out by ARC to be constructed onsite
  • A sponsored Hop Half a Mile!
  • Creating different pieces of artwork dedicated to the natterjack and selling them off at a school fundraiser for ARC

All in all a very impressive total of £468 was raised to contribute towards ARC’s  protection of this iconic little amphibian.

So it’s a very big thank you to staff, pupils and parent’s at St Matthew’s for their willingness to champion the natterjack as a key part of their community! It’s support like this of local people for wildlife conservation that will help enable future generations to hear natterjacks calling across the Hampshire heaths.

If you would like to support our work to conserve the natterjack toad you can do so here: