Volunteers needed to help boost toad haul

Frances Bee, left, with  toad patrol  volunteers  Mel Bennington, Liz Miles and Rachael Sallis
Frances Bee, left, with toad patrol volunteers Mel Bennington, Liz Miles and Rachael Sallis
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Volunteers are being sought to help see amorous toads across roads to their traditional breeding ponds.

For the past four years volunteers have been forming a rota to help the amphibians cross busy roads at Badwell Ash and Walsham-le-Willows.

Organiser Frances Bee said: “Last year we saved nearly 1,000 toads at these sites.

“We’ve got some good local people who’ve turned out each year, but you get a turnover of volunteers as people move away.

“The more volunteers we have the more toads we can save. Could you spare about two hours one evening a week for the six-week period late February to early April ?”

No experience is required because a short training session is arranged and equipment can be provided.

Where frogs stay fairly near their breeding ponds, common toads can tolerate dryer conditions so move away from the ponds. But each year, when conditions are right, they return, often moving in large numbers.

Regular crossing points are marked with a toad road sign.

Frances urged drivers to look for the signs and added: “The toads will be crossing after dark when the temperature is above 5-6C and on damp, rainy evenings.

“Please drive very carefully and as slowly as is safe. If you can safely stop or go round a toad please try and do so. Also look out for toad patrollers.”

Another reason for drivers to be careful is that large numbers of squashed toads create a skid risk.

If you can help, contact Frances on 01284 828284 or francebee@btinternet.com

To help elsewhere, visit www.froglife.org where you can search for your nearest toad crossing.