South Yorkshire garden wildlife revealed

A red squirrel
A red squirrel
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The world’s biggest wildlife survey has reported a chorus of frogs hopping around in South Yorkshire gardens, but native squirrels are in the red.

Nearly half of people in the region who took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch said they see common frogs in their gardens on a regular basis but only a fraction ever see the endangered red squirrel.

For the first time in its 36-year history, the survey asked people to report the wildlife they see in their gardens throughout the year.

Grey squirrels are found in gardens in South Yorkshire, with 74 per cent of participants regularly seeing them - a figure mirrored across the country.

The red squirrel was one of the least seen visitors, with 98 per cent of participants in South Yorkshire never seeing one in their garden.

And less than a third of people in the county saw hedgehogs on a regular basis. Populations have seriously declined by around 30 per cent in the last 14 years.

The common frog takes the lead as the most abundant garden amphibian, according to the results.

Around half of people in the UK see a common frog in their gardens at least monthly, regardless of whether they live in a rural, suburban or urban area.

In South Yorkshire, 46 per cent of participants see a common frog in gardens regularly.

When it comes to toads, nationally 28 per cent of people see them monthly, however in South Yorkshire, more than a quarter of people report never seeing one.

The RSPB hopes the survey will help it to tailor its advice so people can help wildlife find a home, feed and breed successfully.

Dr Daniel Hayhow, RSPB conservation scientist, said: “This is the start of something big and something very important. In a few years we’ll be able to compare how the distribution of garden wildlife may have changed. Hopefully, the fact that more people are helping to give nature a home in their gardens and outside spaces will mean we see improvements rather than declines.”


In South Yorkshire, 4,655 people took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch.

The results were revealed as percentages of participants.

On a daily basis, 3.4 saw badgers, 46.9 saw grey squirrels, 0.1 saw red squirrels, 10.2 saw hedgehogs, 22.6 saw common frogs and 7.1 saw common toads. Muntjac deer and roe deer were not reported being seen on a daily basis.

On a monthly basis, 2.6 saw badgers, 9.3 saw grey squirrels, 0.4 saw muntjac deer, 1 saw roe deer, 9.5 saw hedgehogs, 11.7 saw common frogs and 7.9 saw common toads. No red squirrels were reported being seen.

A total of 70.8 of participants reported never seeing a badger in their garden, 5.3 did not see a grey squirrel, 97.9 never saw a red squirrel, 97 never saw a muntjac deer, 95.5 never saw a roe deer, 15.8 a hedgehog, 11.3 per cent a common frog and 27.4 a common toad.