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A Woodland for Wildlife...
                      ...and People
News and Events
Wildlife Overview
Shop & Services
Home.News and Events.Volunteering.Wildlife.History.More Info.Shop & Services.

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Contact Us


Tel:  07984 665958



Registered Charity no 1054796


Company Limited by Guarantee no 03186952


Ruperra Conservation Trust,

Orchard Bungalow,


Machen, Caerphilly,

CF83 8SB

Amphibians & Reptiles

The woods are not just home to the furry and feathered animals but also to scaly and slippery.


The amphibians and reptiles of Ruperra include:


Common Toad

Common Frog

Common Lizard

Grass Snake

Slow Worm

Palmate Newt


Although a number of new ponds have been created by volunteers over the last few years, providing welcome extra habitat, amphibians have always been present in the woods where many of them spend the terrestrial phase of their lives before they emerge to venture to their breeding waters.


Every spring, Common Toads emerge from their winter hibernacula in the woods and many cross the Draethen to Michaelston Road on their way to Ironbridge Cottage pond where they spawn. Breeding is such an important activity that they will risk being pancaked in order to do so. Toads cross the road night and day - and will often stop to soak up the heat of its sun-warmed surface. However, the main movement is always after dusk, and numbers can be so great that drivers simply cannot avoid squashing them –sometimes dozens at a time can be killed by just one car.


In the interests of keeping this population safe, the friends and volunteers of Ruperra go out on Toad Patrol each year on damp March evenings to assist these slippery pedestrians across the roads. Over the last 3 years they have successfully helped move over 4000 toads, plus several newts and the odd frog.  


Ponds are also important to Grass Snakes, which can sometimes be seen swimming across them in search of a froggy meal! You may sometimes come across one basking on a warm secluded path on the site, or hear the gentle rustle as it slithers away into the undergrowth.  Also occasionally spotted warming up on a log is the Common Lizard while Slow Worms are often found underneath a discarded piece of wood or rotting bark.






Frogs and Spawn


Toads crossing road


Toad in Pond


Juvenile Slow Worm


Common Lizard


 Amphibians &


Wildlife Overview