The breeding season of toads is about to begin and the Ashwellthorpe Street patrols will start their vigils on Wednesday 22nd February 2012, initially from 17.30 until about 20.00. The start times will get later as daylight hours extend.
Many thousands of animals are saved each year in Norfolk and other places by volunteers gently placing the amphibians in buckets and carrying them across roads to avoid roadkill during the toads etc. breeding season which starts in February and continues until about the beginning of April. The toads prefer to travel at dusk, when the temperature is over 7 C and when it is slightly damp.
The toads in Ashwellthorpe live in Ashwellthorpe Wood on the north side of Aswellthorpe Street, but their breeding pond lies to the south of the road – toads can live for up to forty years and always return to their same breeding pond, year after year. Some of you will remember that Rosemary Tilbrook who lived in Red Squirrels used to ferry toads/frogs/newts across the road for many years up until her death in 1999. There are now some 15 volunteers including youngsters with their parents in Ashwellthorpe who will come out in all weathers to help this migration. The amphibians are lifted into the buckets as they are spotted approaching the pavement beside the road and ferried across to the grass verge on the other side, immediately in front of their breeding pond.
The site in Ashwellthorpe Street lies roughly from the end of Greenwood Close westwards to the first fieldgate of Street Meadow. The patrols are out during what is Ashwellthorpe’s “rush hour” of people coming home from work, i.e. 5.30 p.m. onwards right through until the evening “going-out rush-hour” finishes at about 8.00 p.m. The patrollers will be wearing Hi-Viz hazard jackets/tabards, carry torches and the site will be indicated by open permanent toad road signs and also Toad Patrol A-Boards on the pavements.
PLEASE BE AWARE OF THESE TOADWATCH PATROLS AND SO AVOID THE HUMANS AND THE TOADS!