Prepare to go hopping mad at froggers’ celebration day

Visitors of all ages are invited to hop along to Kirkley Hall this weekend for a MAD event.

The second annual Morpeth Amphibian Day (MAD) has been organised by the North East Froggers group to celebrate frogs from around the world.

Richard Bould of Loansdean at Morpeth who keeps exotic frogs as a hobby.'REF 2003151097

Richard Bould of Loansdean at Morpeth who keeps exotic frogs as a hobby.'REF 2003151097

There will be the chance to see rare frogs on display, find out about keeping the creatures and buy specialist equipment, as well as take part in activities and games.

Organiser Richard Bould, who keeps more than 100 poison arrow tree frogs, along with cane toads and grass frogs, at his Morpeth home, said: “MAD is about encouraging more froggers and it is a celebration of frogs.

“The rainforest is on the school curriculum now and it is great that children can’t just read about its frogs, they can come and see them and talk to people who breed them.

“Frogs are fantastic things. I have been keeping frogs for ten years now and it is just a joy to watch them. They are always up to something and are always active.

Frogs are fantastic things. I have been keeping frogs for ten years now and it is just a joy to watch them. They are always up to something and are always active.

Richard Bould, North East Froggers

“I love to see kids getting involved because they are the next generation to keep the interest going.”

The MAD event will include face-painting, frog quoits and displays by Northumberland Wildlife Trust, as well as discounted entry to Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens.

And there will also be a strong focus on advising visitors about frog husbandry.

Mr Bould said: “One of the aims of the group is to promote good frog husbandry. We want people to learn how to keep frogs before they buy a frog.

“There are things to think about, such as you have to breed their live food — fruit flies. That is where people have a problem because it is not easy to buy it in. You can’t just go to a pet shop and buy pots of fruit flies, you have to breed them.

“You also have to have the set up right. Frogs are robust and easy to keep, as long as you get the environment right in the first place.

“It is much harder to keep one tank in your living room than to have a ‘frog room’ because you have to create the right humidity and temperature and have the right kind of plants.

“Frogs are not cheap. They cost anything from £25 to £250, or more, and the other expenses are the tanks and the heating system.

“I would encourage people to come and talk to us at MAD if they are thinking about buying frogs. Come and see the froggers and learn about keeping frogs before you start.”

The event takes place at Kirkley Hall, near Ponteland, on Sunday, from 1pm. Admission costs £3 adults, £2 children.