SOMERSET Wildlife Trust (SWT) is looking for people across the Wellington and West Somerset areas to help with its annual frog and toad count, which starts in the New Year.

The count runs from January to the end of March and SWT wants people to record sightings of toad and frog spawn during that period.

Frogs and toads typically spawn from January to March and are considered an ‘indicator species’ because their spawning can be an indication of good quality water bodies such as ponds, and the quality of surrounding habitats.

So, SWT annually collects data on the location of breeding frogs and toads across the county.

A spokesperson said: “As we head into the New Year keep your eyes peeled for frog and toad spawn around garden ponds, local ponds in your community.

“You will be helping to collect important data on the location of breeding frogs and toads across Somerset.

“We want you to record both toad and frog spawn in your garden ponds, local community ponds, and any ponds you come across in your adventures in the countryside.

“Frogs and toads absorb water directly through their skin, making them vulnerable to water pollutants like pesticides and one of the first to be affected by degradation of the environment and the impacts of climate change.

“Your involvement will help us understand the health of our local habitats and how we can best look after them.

The amphibians also have important functions in the food webs of both aquatic and terrestrial systems, so understanding the size and location of their populations and their breeding success is important for SWT to look after aquatic habitats within the wider landscape.

Details of how to take part in the survey are available by hopping on to Somerset Wildlife Trust’s website here.