LIANE HANSEN, host:
Spring is here, and that means mating season. Amphibians in search of partners can now check into a waterside frog hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland. The amphibian love nest was started by community service volunteers who, with the Action Earth campaign, try to get more people to volunteer for environmental projects.
Robert Henderson is the Scottish coordinator for the campaign, and he's in the studios of the BBC in Edinburgh. Welcome to the program.
Mr. ROBERT HENDERSON (Scottish Coordinator, Action Earth): Hi there.
HANSEN: Robert, are there a lot of frogs in Edinburgh?
Mr. HENDERSON: They are slowly coming out of hibernation. And the first thing they do is they start hanging around water and preparing for the mating season. Unfortunately, this makes them very vulnerable to predators. And so what they really need is some safe shelter to help keep their numbers up.
HANSEN: What does the hotel look like?
Mr. HENDERSON: It actually resembles an underground beehive. Now, the first thing that the frog will come to is the compost cafe. And this is an area where it's full of bugs and beasts. Then there's a little ramp that takes them upstairs to what we would probably term the sleeping area. And it's a place where frogs can meet and greet other frogs.
HANSEN: Do they pass on now, like, word-of-mouth? So hey, next year come on over to the frog hotel, man, it's great.
Mr. HENDERSON: Well, I think so. We hope that they don't have an image of that having revolving beds, heart-shaped Jacuzzi and Barry White CDs pumped in your ear all night or anything. It's much more like the Bates Hotel in "Psycho," probably.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. HENDERSON: But frogs like, you know, very dark spaces. And for our opening event, we actually had a Las Vegas-style sign made that said, Damp, dark rooms to rent by the hour, day or week.
(Soundbite of laughter)
HANSEN: Does the Compost Cafe provide room service?
Mr. HENDERSON: There is no room service, but you'll have no trouble finding a bellhop at the hotel.
HANSEN: How long have you been in business?
Mr. HENDERSON: The hotel was opened about two weeks ago, and it's to launch our campaign over here, which is to get people involved in environmental volunteering. And although, you know, it's a fun thing to get a serious message across to people, but you know, you can get friends together, you can do something small yourself.
And even in your own garden, you know, we would encourage people to set up log piles and do rockeries that have got nice little nooks and crannies that the frogs can actually hide in and stay warm and be protected in.
HANSEN: Ooh, a chain of frog motels.
Mr. HENDERSON: Yes. There's no franchise, so people are very free to take these ideas and run with them and do them themselves.
HANSEN: Robert Henderson is Scottish coordinator for the Community Service Volunteers Action Earth campaign. They run a frog hotel for amphibian amore in Edinburgh, Scotland. He joined us from the BBC studios there. Thank you so much.
Mr. HENDERSON: That's great. Thank you. Bye.
(Soundbite of song, "Can't Get Enough of Your Love")
Mr. BARRY WHITE (Late Singer): (Singing) Oh, darling, I can't get enough of your love, babe.
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