Natterjack Toads are rare in the British Isles, but they were previously far more widespread. By examining the changing fortunes of the Natterjack, it is possible to gain a fascinating insight into the ways in which our countryside has changed over the past few hundred years. Trevor Beebee explores the reasons behind the decline of the Natterjack, with an emphasis on the effects of habitat loss over previous centuries.
Depredations of the British countryside consequent on increasingly intensive agriculture are all too obvious to naturalists today. For those who grew up after the end of the Second World War, the changes since that time have often rendered both the landscape and wildlife of childhood memories almost unrecognisable.