As spring starts to arrive with the warming weather animals begin to stir from their winter hibernation and set off in search of a mate. However, the early blooms along our hedgerows don't just signify the start of seasonal change, it is also the beginning of an annual event that is deeply troubling.
In order to reach their traditional spawning ponds, thousands of toads (along with frogs and newts) are forced to venture across roads and are often killed in the process, which has inevitably led to drastic declines in their population numbers, particularly in southern parts of the UK.
However, one charity has devised a way to try and help these sluggish amphibians to cross our busy roads by setting up the Toads On Roads project. Froglife is a national wildlife charity that is dedicated to the conservation of both amphibians and reptiles, and the habitats that they depend on.
Every year, they oversee nearly 700 toad crossings throughout the UK, when volunteers are encouraged to help migrating toads from one side of the tarmac to the other safely, with their records showing that they have saved thousands of individuals in the process.
The Toads on Roads project is easy to take part in and your help would be much appreciated (particularly on wetter evenings when more and more toads are trying to reach their spawning grounds). By looking at their map
you can see if there is already a project going on close to you, but ensure safety at all times by wearing high-visibility clothing.
For more information about the project and the other work that Froglife does to protect our amphibians, please visit their website.