CHERRY LANE TOAD PATROL INFORMATION DROP-IN, THE NEW HORSESHOE, THURSDAY 5TH JANUARY 2023
Toad Patrol Information Drop-In, The New Horseshoe, Thursday 5th January
Local toad patrol volunteers will be holding an information drop-in on 5th January for anyone wanting to find out more about the amazing Spring common toad migrations in Cheshire or about volunteering with the patrols, which operate on certain nights in March and April, including on Cherry Lane in Church Lawton.
Every Spring, toads make perilous journeys of up to five miles to return to their ancestral spawning ponds for mating, facing challenges including predators, roads and grids on the way. Toads follow ancient routes, regardless of whether humans have built roads or housing estates over them, so thousands are sadly run over each year trying to get to the ponds.
Locally, volunteer toad patrols operate at busy toad crossing points, with volunteers carrying the amorous amphibians safely over roads, as well as making sure grids in the vicinity are ‘toad-friendly’ for the duration of the crossings.
This is evening work, and very weather dependent, as toads prefer to travel on mild but wet nights. Volunteers in hi-viz vests with torches and buckets are on hand to help the amorous amphibians cross safely. Families can patrol together, and people not wanting to touch the toads can act as ‘spotters’ instead.
On Thursday 5th January from 7pm to 9pm, patrollers will be at the New Horseshoe pub in Church Lawton to answer any questions people have about local toads and how to help them. They’ll also have information sheets to take away about making bog gardens, hibernacula, ponds and toad abodes in gardens.
The 180-plus monitored toad crossings across the UK, including the Cherry Lane site which was the very first patrol in the area, are registered with the national charity Froglife and the Department of Transport.
Toad patrol co-ordinator Jane Smith says: “We’re holding this information drop-in to spread the love about local toads! We know lots of people have them in their gardens and don’t know how they can best help them; we’d also love to have more volunteers on our Cherry Lane patrols which can be very busy some nights.
This is really rewarding work with beautiful native amphibians who need all the help they can get – common toads have declined by a staggering 68% over the past three decades alone, due to loss of habitat and road building across their ancient migratory routes.”