Go Toads! Community Project

The Go Toads! Community Project ran in 2016 after Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, Herefordshire Amphibian & Reptile Team (HART) and St Michaels’s CE Primary School received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Sharing Heritage grant to help save toads around Bodenham. The project involved communities around Bodenham Lake learning about, and protecting, the local population of this often overlooked species.

About the Project

Go Toads! raised awareness about the importance of Bodenham Lake as a breeding pond for one of the largest populations of toads in the county. In early spring, toads awake from hibernation and migrate along ancient routes to their pond where they will breed and spawn. These routes often cross roads, making toads very vulnerable, often resulting in them unfortunately being squashed by vehicles. The common toad is now in decline in the UK, mainly caused by such road mortalities – on average, twenty tonnes of toads are killed on UK roads each year.

The project raised local awareness through running a series of community events and monitoring the toad abundance. The Go Toads! patrol team set out on warm damp evenings from mid-February to the beginning of March kitted out with hi-vis jackets, torches and gloves slowing down traffic and giving the toads a helping hand to cross the road safely. Training was given to those in the Go Toads! patrol team from local herpetologist, Nigel Hand.

Go Toads! Project Officer, Hayley Herridge, commented: “this incredible wildlife event makes Bodenham Lake a real special place for wildlife in the county. We wanted to celebrate this and ensure the toads have a home here for a long time to come."

 

The patrols continue each spring as part of this project's legacy. Click here to find out more.