Toad ladders cleared ready for migration in March

Published: Tuesday, 5th February 2019

Toad ladder cleaning

As part of the Royal Borough’s gully maintenance programme, toad ladders have been repositioned ready for their migration in March.

Work was completed with the help of a dedicated team of toad patrol volunteers, Wild Maidenhead and VolkerHighways.

Research in 2016 by Froglife and the University of Zurich found that the UK common toad population has dropped by 68%, and with the Deerswood area in Maidenhead being home to one of the largest remaining colonies in the south of England, our conservation work is vital.

Cllr Rayner, cabinet member for culture and communities, said: “Maidenhead is incredibly fortunate to have such a strong knot of toads and we must do all we can to preserve the population. The ladders will greatly assist their migration in allowing a safer journey.

“The Royal Borough is a beautiful area with much wildlife and nature that is hugely valued by our residents.”

Each spring, the toads’ journey to their breeding pond takes them across a number of roads near Ray Mill Road East, and they are prone to falling down drains, unable to escape.

The toad ladders were introduced in 2017 by Wild Maidenhead, with a hundred brought in, the largest installation of its kind in the country.

The January work undertaken by VolkerHighways cleared ladders that have become jammed with leaves and debris, keeping them free ready for their journeys in March.

Wild Maidenhead’s co-founder Jan Stannard said: “We were really grateful for the help given so willingly by VolkerHighways, led by David Horton, for this essential work.

“The crew were very helpful and patient and our volunteers, about ten in total, were very impressed with their kind and willing co-operation. A big thanks to the company and the crew for helping to conserve a declining species.”

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