Volunteers needed to help amorous toads cross road in Bath
A road in Bath is due to close next month while volunteers help amorous toads reach an historic breeding ground safely.
Charlcombe Lane on the northern edge of the city will be closed for six weeks from Monday, February 11 for the duration of the common toads' breeding season.
Volunteers from the Charlcombe Toad Rescue Group will be on hand to carry the toads across the road every evening, so the amphibians can lay their spawn in a lake at Charlcombe Farm.
The toads need a little extra help to cross safely. Volunteers will also looking out for frogs and newts.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Group spokeswoman Anna Ferguson said: "Toads come back each year to the same place to spawn and come from quite far away. The first thing they think of after the winter is of going to spawn. Frogs will go to new lakes but toads always return to the same place.
"We can pick up hundreds. Charlcombe Lane is quite long and we can walk up it and only see a few toads. But by the time we get back down it there can be hundreds out and we have to go back up again.
"They are around three to five inches, with females bigger than the males.
"They aren't scaly or slimy and are quite easy to pick up because they don't hop – they have quite a weak hop. I absolutely love them.
"They are quite different to frogs – when it comes to picking up frogs that is like trying to pick up soap in the shower."
This will be the 11th year the road has closed, with the wildlife group saying 21,000 toads have crossed during this period.
But not all toads have made it safely across; some seven per cent have been killed as they tried to reach their favoured ponds.
"We have 20 volunteers but want more. The difficulty has been that some people have called up to help on a specific day but we need people who can be fairly flexible and can be called up to help when it is busy," added Mrs Ferguson.
The annual toad safety campaign is part of a national campaign called Toads on Roads, coordinated by wildlife charity Froglife.
Volunteers start when it gets dark at around 5pm and can still be out escorting toads to safety some five hours later.
Charlcombe Lane will still be able to be used by local residents and visitors.
People wanting to volunteer can contact Sam Taylor of Froglife on 01733 425822 or email sam. email@example.com.