Help! Can you join us on the Toad Patrol?

March 03 2018

VOLUNTEERS from in and around Bitton are needed to help save toads and other amphibians from being killed as they cross Golden Valley Lane to breed.

VOLUNTEERS from in and around Bitton are needed to help save toads and other amphibians from being killed as they cross Golden Valley Lane to breed.

Every spring toads, frogs and newts migrate from their winter hibernation sites to ponds, streams and lakes.

Toads in particular are very fussy about where they breed and like to return to their ancestral ponds and often cross roads carrying heavy traffic to reach them.

They can travel more than half a mile during their perilous journeys back to their spawning ground. 

Bitton Toad Patrol takes place every night when amphibians are migrating and last year volunteers rescued more than 1,300 amphibians.

Weather conditions dictate exactly when migration will be but factors include mild weather (above 6 degrees C), when it's dark, when it's damp and the road surface is wet and when it's calm rather than windy.

Bitton Toad Patrol is part of the Avon Reptile & Amphibian Group (ARAG) which has teamed up with Bristol Zoo Gardens to call on people to help collect migrating toads and move them to safe breeding sites. Other toad patrols are held in Fishponds, Chew Valley, Portishead and Bath.

Andy Ryder, from Avon Reptile & Amphibian Group, said: "We urgently need volunteers to assist with rescue efforts throughout the local area. 

"Toads start to move once evening temperatures exceed 5C. They prefer wet evenings without strong winds. The migration period typically lasts for up to four weeks and could start at any time.

"To help, you just need to be able to spare a few evenings from 6pm onwards. You will need a bucket, a torch and a high visibility jacket."

Anyone interested in helping should download a patrol pack by visiting www.facebook.com/groups/BittonToads/

Those who aren't on Facebook can email Andy Ryder on a_r_a_g@yahoo.co.uk who will then email a patrol pack to you.

Bitton Toad Patrol isn't suitable for very young children.