The village pond in our community nature area is not that brilliant. To be honest it is a bit beleaguered. There can be vandalism and the water levels can sometimes decrease dramatically. Having said that, right now, it isn’t doing too bad. There is plenty of water and it is clear that a lot of new patches have mended the leaking liner. Aquatic plants are spreading and lots of life is visible – from skimming water boatmen and snails of various sorts to the odd fish. Right now, what really catches the eye are the myriads of black tadpoles. Not from frog spawn – that was much earlier – but from toads; so I suppose we could call these youngsters toadpoles. There are thousands of them. Maybe hundreds of thousands. They swim in phalanxes through deeper water but mostly throng in the shallow warmer water around the margins where they scrape the biofilm on the pond liner together with the wandering and great pond snails and a few red ramshorns. The toadpoles wriggle new the surface around the yellow ranunculus, the purple water mint, and through the tangled star wort leaves. I have never seen so many.