Hainault Forest Website

Written and Designed by Brian Ecott


 Reptiles and Amphibians


Pair of Frogs prepare for spawning in Roe's Well, 21st Feb 2007  

Photo: Sarah White.

Frog spawn. Approx 100 batches in Roe's Well 28th February 2007.

Frog spawn batches in Roe's Well 28th February 2007.

FROG SPAWN in the lake 23.3.05. It appears as a gelatinous mass. Individual eggs can be distinguished.

Frogspawn present in Bomb crater pond 11th March 2017. Photo Brian Ecott. Unfortunately the bomb crater normally dries up before development is complete. Frogspawn was found earlier in the week at Roes Well..

Tadpoles grazing algae - a green film on a piece of wood in the lake. Tadpoles become carnivores later when they start to grow their limbs. 30th April 2017. Photo Martin Bell.

A large bird of prey has eaten a female frog and discarded the oviducts and egg mass on the grassland behind the lake.  25th Feb 2007.

Left: Tadpole being devoured by a Great diving beetle larva. Tadpoles are the food of many aquatic creatures and pond-side animals.   Photo: May 1971

Middle: FROG TADPOLE showing almost complete development. The legs are present, and the tail will be absorbed.

Right: COMMON FROG Rana temporaria is distinguished from the toad by its smooth skin and a circular ear drum behind the eye. The adults will return to the pond at the age of 4-5.

Left: COMMON TOAD Bufo bufo pair in amplexus. The male is the smaller.

Right: Common toad eggs are laid in strings among the water weeds

Strings of toad spawn in the lake 31st March 2006.

SMOOTH NEWT PAIR Triturus vulgaris.  As adults and non-breeding juveniles they are commonly found under stones and logs in the forest only returning to the water for a short period to breed.  Photo: May 1970. During the breeding season the male develops a crest and colourful tail.   Photo: May 1970

NEWTPOLE or EFT (Smooth/Palmate type)

Pictures show the feathery external gills.

Photo: July 2004  Sheepwater.


Martin Bell photographed this harmless grass snake near the farmyard. They have been swimming in the lake. Their food is plentiful at this time as many young froglets are beginning to leave the water to spend 4 or 5 years growing and reaching maturity before returning to the water. Few of the masses of tadpoles survive predation, particularly in the early stages. Photo Martin Bell    2nd June 2017.

GRASS SNAKE Natrix natrix  Photo with insert   Martin Duffield


Occasionally seen in the forest ponds and craters, also in the Golf course ponds.

Feed  principally on frogs but take tadpoles, fish, newts and insects.

The GRASS SNAKE,  recognised by its yellow collar, is harmless to humans. Swims with a side to side movement of its body. Its head is held out of the water. Photo: June 1971

GRASS SNAKE Natrix natrix on the heathland. Photo: 4th Sept. 06.


Photo: June 1971 on the heathland.

COMMON LIZARD  in new glade by the heathland Photo: 29th April 2007 Sarah White