Stibbard Toad Conservation Project
Toads are in national decline, mainly due to loss of habitat ,housing developments, new highways and pond drainage .To help, you can encourage them into your garden with a pond, leaving a 'wild 'area and a log pile. and they will reward you by keeping down pests such as slugs. If you are lucky enough to have toad spawn in your pond ,consider sharing this with another pond owner. You can also help them by volunteering with our toad patrols.
Toads always return to their ancestral ponds to breed ,usually from late February to late March .They always migrate at dusk and may travel some distance from gardens or the surrounding countryside .In doing so they face many hazards including crossing roads and because they take the path of least resistance, often crawling (toads crawl, frogs jump) down the road itself.
Some years ago hundreds of toads were seen crawling down Guist Bottom Road and consequently many were killed by passing cars. Concerned villagers witnessed this and decided something had to be done. With advice from the Froglife charity and other local patrols, the Stibbard Toad Patrols were born.
Stibbard Toad Patrol
Every year since a dedicated band of volunteers patrols this road every night of the week, late February to late March, although toads will only migrate when the temperature is above 6degrees and the ground is damp .We pick up the toads, put them in a bucket and then put them safely by their breeding pond nearby. Last year alone we saved over 270 toads and a few frogs as well.
We are always looking for new volunteers and single volunteers are welcome, there are always at least 2 people on every patrol. Full training is given, so if you are interested in nature and conservation and can commit to 2 hours an evening each week, contact Terry on 01328 829973.
Find your nearest toad crossing (froglife.org)