With the recent onset of more Spring-like weather and warmer evening temperatures, toads are once again on the move, with amorous amphibians heading for their breeding ponds.
The Henley Toad Patrol who operate the crossing on the busy A4155 have now assisted over 6,000 toads to cross the road, so a big thank you to Angelina and her team for their sterling efforts, and please everybody do let us know how you are getting on.
This year the ARGUK 100% fund made a small grant available to KRAG to help with their various toad projects including, 'Getting Toads Out of a Hole', and their regular toad patrols. It is great to see our funds being put to such good use, as Amy Wright and her team get out on the highways and byways of Kent to save local amphibian populations.
For all those taking part in toad patrols please don't forget our ToadSize project, which seeks to find out more about the impact of road mortality on toad populations, by measuring male toads. To participate you will need to measure between 10 and 20 toads on the nights sampled, write down the measurements and send them to us at
or directly to John Wilkinson at ARC (
(images copyright Emma Douglas, Angie Julian)
Find out more about toads on roads
Toads on Roads is an awareness campaign started by Flora and Fauna International in 1984. Amphibian and Reptile Groups have been at the heart of the campaign and have organised and coordinated toad crossings since 1986. An example of this work can be found in Surrey where the local ARG has coordinated over 30 registered toad crossings.
There is a network of volunteers, groups and organisations who help monitor toad crossings and rescue animals from the road. You can contact Froglife to register a new crossing or to find out which crossings are being patrolled. Alternatively you can contact your local ARG (many ARGs are involved with toad patrols and would welcome new volunteers).
Hundreds of volunteers organise the installation of road signs, raise awareness locally and operate toad patrols during the main traffic periods. Toad patrolling is potentially a dangerous activity, so volunteers must assess the risks of walking along busy roads at night. In some cases Local ARGs have installed fencing and even tunnels underneath the road in order provide access across the road for the toads while reducing the need for putting volunteers in the way of traffic.
If you have queries about how to help toads then have a look at the advice booklet
Toads - Advice for Planners - published by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
Considerations for ARG Groups
- ARG UK's insurance (free to affiliated groups) covers toad patrolling as long as risk assessments and training have been undertaken and the members of the patrol are signed up members of the local ARG.
- Find your local ARG to see whether you can help with toad crossings in your area.
Coordination at county level
- ARG UK would like to publish a list of ARG's that are actively coordinating toad patrols for Toads on Roads. One of the hardest aspects of this sort of activity is keeping going through the main migration time (time of year and through the night). Therefore ARG UK are keen to be able to point new volunteers to their local Toads on Roads patrol to help keep the rescue going over the migration period
- If you would like to be involved then do contact your local group or send in your details to
Local Authority/Highways - closures of roads, signs etc
- It is probably best to contact your local council to see whether volunteers can open the signs and then close them when the migration has finished.
- If you have a registered toad crossing it is probably best to let the local Highways department know when toads are crossing so that they can put up signs if these are required.
- Some signs are fold-down or -over signs.