What you say… #146

Posted on 23rd May 2024 | in Letters & Email

Frogs: Could more garden ponds encourage biodiversity?

I read Hugh’s article, (#145 p7 Where are the frogs) which raised some interesting points, and I was particularly intrigued by him saying that he hadn’t seen any frogs around Amble for a while.
We dug a small wildlife pond in my daughter and son-in-law’s garden in Etal Drive in August 2022 and within about a week, a frog made an appearance. From then on at least two frogs were resident in the pond. The frogs returned last year, and we hoped for spawn.
However, it appeared that we only had female frogs, as there was no calling and no spawn.
This year, we’ve only seen one frog so far, which we expect overwintered in or close to the pond.
However, it can take a pond a few years to establish themselves, so we’re still hopeful that frogs will breed there. We will just have to be patient. We do have plenty of invertebrate larvae, dragonflies, water beetles and birds making use of the pond at least.
I do question Hugh’s suggestion of relocation though. Movement of spawn and tadpoles is strongly advised against in the UK, due to the risk of spreading disease and invasive plants.
Maybe a better idea, would just be to encourage people to have wildlife ponds in their gardens and for the council, local schools, etc. to do the same, so that more suitable amphibian habitats are created?
Maybe some of the developers building all the new houses in the area could do a bit more to incorporate biodiversity improvements in their developments too!

Chris Brewis
via email

In reply to the article entitled “Hugh’s views” Where are the frogs?
I have frogspawn and frogs present on my allotment on West Allotments. I do however garden with wildlife and biodiversity in mind.
I create a habitat that will provide food for wildlife that is not poisened by chemicals.
Many gardeners intent on killing slugs chemically, do not seem to realise they are killing frogs, hedgehogs and birds too.
I think it would be of benefit to the environment in Amble, for an official body such as the Wildlife Trust to encourage people to build ponds in their gardens.
It’s especially important with the ongoing developments destroying the natural environment.
I think awards should be given to people who plan their gardens with wildlife and biodiversity in mind. Perhaps the developers could fund this!
I would also be happy to be contacted by anyone who would be interested in setting up a working group to protect the local environment. There seems to be a lot of people who write in about such issues, but it needs an empowered working group to promote them effectively.

Angela Lazzari

Just to let you know, a few weeks ago I saw frogs around the wet area Hugh was talking about, although they seem to have gone now.
They were in the dunes and on the footpath, not loads but a few.
A few years ago there were tadpoles in the bottom of that field where you cross the road to go to the beach.

Julie Kelly
via email

‘Excessive’ parking permit increase

I renewed my annual parking permit today for the Warkworth Harbour Commissioners car parks here in Amble, to my astonishment the annual cost has increased from £35 to £50 per annum, an increase of 42.86%. Bearing in mind the Retail Price Index in April 2023 was 11.40% and in April 2024 is expected to be 3.1%.
These parking permits are generally used by residents to park in the WHC car parks when unable to park outside their own home. I myself have this problem in the Little Shore area where there are major parking problems on Bay View.
The parking in Amble by day trippers has become a major problem and increasing the parking permit cost by this excessive amount for residents will only exacerbate the problem.
Name and address supplied

(Ed: The Ambler contacted Warkworth Harbour Commissioners for a comment but received no reply)

Congestion is causing chaos

Amble receives many visitors every day, and as the friendliest port we welcome each and every one.
However, as the volume of visitors increases, the level of congestion and lack of free parking gets worse. When people arrive they don’t want to pay to park, neither do they want to walk any distance to where they want to be. This means that from Queen Street and Percy Street towards the harbour and beach, there is pure chaos every weekend.
People park in front of houses, on junctions, on grassy areas, wherever they can so they can avoid paying, at the Harbour Masters or Tesco car park.
Craster, Seahouses, Morpeth and Alnwick are all looked after by our local council in different ways. residents have parking permits that prevent people parking on the streets, they are allowed to use the Market Town status parking discs so people can park for free for two hours. Tourists go to these places and respect all measures put in place. Amble has had a market running for aprox 20 years yet we still don’t qualify to have discs used there.
Percy, Leazes, Newburgh, Lawson, Ladbroke and Broomhill Streets and Harbour Road were all gridlocked at the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, cars were at loggerheads blocking junctions and refusing to back off, therefore all traffic behind the Leazes St/Newburgh St junction was banked up all the way down Ladbroke St, Leazes St and up to Cromies chemist.
A questionnaire went out to residents from our council to homes around these areas asking who would pay for residents parking and most residents said yes, but due to some saying no this hasn’t been progressed any further. However I think now is the time to enforce it. There are elderly residents, there are families with young children therefore bags prams and children to carry.
But more importantly: what if someone took ill, a house was on fire or a road collision? How would emergency services get to them?
How would any emergency services get through the gridlocked traffic? How would the Coastguards or RNLI volunteers who don’t live within a short distance get to call outs promptly?
Action needs to be taken ASAP.

Name and address supplied

Abandoned cars at Paddlers Park

We regularly walk around Amble Harbour, the breakwater and Paddlers with our grandchildren. Over the past few weeks there was one scrap car abandoned at the Paddlers car park.

What a mess it looked, oil all over the road and the car jacked up on tyres and full of scrap car parts.
Last week we took in our usual route, lo and behold, another car had appeared parked up behind the first black one. Three or four youths were taking out the engine of the silver car. Oil etc. was running down the road into the road gulley. The youths didn’t seem to give a toss and just carried on. The next day we passed and what a mess.
This can’t be right surely? What are the Police or NCC doing? The Amble town council run the paddlers on behalf of NCC, so is something going to be done about this mess?
Michael Mossman
via email

Donation to Amble Lifeboat

As captain of Warkworth Golf Club in 2023 and across the season I raised some funds towards my chosen charity which was the Amble Lifeboat. My late Grandfather Jimmy Pringle was a marine engineer at Harrison’s boatyard from the 1940’s until he retired in the early 1990’s and he built the Lifeboat engines during his career so it’s quite close to my heart.

I also think the Lifeboat crew do a fantastic job and are a great part of our community. I was happy to pass over £2,000 to the crew and fundraisers at the end of March.
I’ve attached a photo of the crew and team who were present on the day.
Jeff Potts
via email

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