Latin name: Bufo bufo

The common toad has dry, bumpy skin, it moves by walking or hopping and it has a rounded head and body shape. Its colour is grey to reddish or dark brown and an off-white underside with dark flecks. They can most easily be seen at night with a hand torch from late spring to early autumn when they are at their most active and before they hibernate for the winter. They are particularly active at pond edges in February and March.

Toads are thought to be widespread in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. They are associated with deep ponds and lakes when breeding in February and March, but can be found in dryer habitats between April and September. Areas where it has been formally recorded in the National Park include Upper Wharfedale. However, nationally the common toad populations are declining. Consequently, in the national Species and Habitats Review 2007, the common toad was added to the UK list of priority species for biodiversity action.

The wildlife conservation team of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is working with local volunteers to assist with the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS) and have set a target of surveying in at least 10 different km squares in the YDNP.

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Wharfedale in Yorkshire is a valley favoured by nature and enriched by romance. From 'Wharfedale' by Ella Pontefract & Marie Hartley

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