Toad patrols begin in Ringwood as residents urge motorists to help amphibians

Head of Toad Patrol Teresa Bake

Head of Toad Patrol Teresa Bake

First published in News by , Chief Reporter

PEOPLE in Ringwood are being urged to help out their amphibians this year.

Ringwood Amphibian Conservationists are looking for volunteers to help toads get safely across the road.

Toads are just coming out of hibernation and the organisation is hoping to make people aware of the dangers they face.

From now until April the toads will be crossing the Gorley Road near Poulner School to spawn in the surrounding lakes.

They start crossing at dusk and continue crossing through the night when it is raining.

Ringwood Amphibian Conservationists say they actively try and save as many toads as possible from facing death from motorists running them over.

The toads only cross the road if it’s dark and mild – above five degrees – so the group is asking people to slow down during their migration season.

Teresa Baker started the patrol 25 years ago and those involved got together to celebrate.

She said: “I used to go and feed my horses in the morning and at night and one rainy night the road was covered in toads.

“I started to pick them up and I realised it was a problem and something was going on.

“I’m extremely low this year, I normally have three couples per night and at the moment I have only got one couple per night.

“I need an awful lot more help.”

Toads are valuable to gardeners as they eat slugs, snails and a variety of other small creatures that eat and damage plants.

They also form a vital part of the local ecosystem and need protecting – the toad population in the UK has declined recently.

Toads can often travel more than 1km during their migration back to their spawning ground and rather than using rough hedgerow or grass, toads will often choose roads.

If you would like to find out more contact 01425 478891.

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