The visitor information board at the twin chalk ponds of Silent Pool and Sherbourne Pond states: ‘There are many thoughts on how Silent Pool got its name and one of them is the legend of Emma, a woodcutter’s daughter…’
Quite when or why stones became associated with the coronation of monarchs may be impossible to know. According to the eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in pre-Christian Europe ‘the king or ruler, upon his election, was raised on a shield, and, standing upon it, was borne on the shoulders of certain of the chief men of the tribe, or nation, round the assembled people. This was called the gyratio, and it was usually performed three times’.
Here (she thinks, in squirrel thoughts) I will have my monument, atop this hard, massive thing created by the ancient humans. And like the ancient humans, I will be displayed in a noble pose, the great matriarch of my squirrel clan.
There are only two native toad species in Britain and one of these, the Natterjack Toad, is rare, confined mainly to a few coastal sites. So the chances are that if you come across one in the wild it will be a Common Toad.