Toad patrol starts to prepare as amphibians wake from hibernation

Volunteers in Ellesmere are preparing to begin a night time operation to help the annual migration of the local toad population.

Courting toads found by the  volunteers last year
Courting toads found by the volunteers last year

Every year in early spring, the common toads wake up from hibernation and start migrating to their ancestral breeding home in the town’s mere for the start of the mating season. But many fail to make it and become victims of traffic on the road that runs close to the back of the mere.

For the last three years a special Ellesmere Toad Patrol has been out with buckets and gloves picking up the toads and helping them across the road.

This year volunteers will be using their daily exercise allowance to patrol under Covid regulations.

The group is led by ecological consultant Clare Knight who set up the group with her two daughters three years ago after moving to a house close to the road.

She said: "The common toad is a declining species in the UK and the death toll on the roads is adding to their decline."

As well as toads, the volunteers also come across frogs and even newts making the journey across the road.

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