Cranwich toad team recognised

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A group of West Norfolk Toadwatch patrollers were presented with an award after the dedicated environmental volunteers helped save thousands of toads from our busy roads.

The team, who volunteer across Oxburgh, Cockley Cley and Cranwich, were presented with the highly commended group award at the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership’s Community Awards in Norwich.

Team leader Donna Stocking said: “The award recognised our effort in moving thousands of toads safely across our busy roads and preserving some of the largest populations of the Bufo Bufo toad currently living in the UK.”

She was joined by a group of 25 helpers who formed the first Toadwatch team to collate figures for the population in the Cranwich area and the figures have astounded the ecologists.

During the 2013 migration, 8,217 toads were moved safely to their breeding pond in a 10 day period. The group consists of volunteers who patrol the drift fence trap every evening through the migration at dusk. They have a long-term plan to install culvert-type tunnels under the A134 at Cranwich to preserve the population for future generations.

Donna added: “Cranwich topped the Froglife Toads on Roads campaign for the whole of the UK in 2013 proving what an important population we have at Cranwich. This in turn has brought interest from national amphibian organisations who it is hoped will help with the tunnel project.

“Until the tunnel is in place, hopefully in the not too distant future, the toad patrollers will continue to do their bit to help the toads.

“A small amount of time given up each spring helps one of our struggling native species but also clears out the winter cobwebs and fights the post Christmas bulge – cheaper than any gym and doing something possitive in the process.”

She added: “If you would like to come along and help the toad cause search Toadwatch Patrollers on Facebook or call Donna on 07876324231.”