Every year volunteers across the country go out at night to help amphibians (frogs, toads and newts) on their spring migration to cross busy roads. We organise volunteer patrols near Keswick and are always on the look-out for more people willing to volunteer some time.
Toads on Roads is a citizen science project, coordinated by the amphibian and reptile charity Froglife, that collects data from different toad patrols and uses it to help support research. They host a map of different crossing sites which you can add to if you know of roads where animals are being run over (note: reporting a crossing does not mean it will be patrolled)
On a toad patrol, volunteers walk up and down a short stretch of road in pairs, for up to two hours (it is always dark and usually wet).
We wear headtorches, and shine them into the road to look for frogs, toads and newts. Any that we find we pick up using gloves, and put in a bucket (this often means walking into the road to collect them).
Once we have a few, we release them on the other side of the road at a safe spot, as close to their breeding location as possible. We record and move any dead animals we find.
There are two sites near Keswick that we patrol with volunteers. These are both on the A591, one at Dodd Wood and one at Low Nest (on the brow of the hill on the road towards Thirlmere). We tend to patrol more often at the Low Nest site because this stretch of road has a footpath and is therefore safer.
Amphibians tend to move at night when it’s above 5ºC and wet. It usually happens for a few weeks around March time, but the time it starts and ends is very dependent on the weather. The days we go out are often decided quite late-on because it is entirely weather dependent, so if you want to get involved, you may not get much notice. We usually start at dusk and patrol for a couple of hours.
You need to be:
You need to bring:
If you have any questions or want to sign up to our Toad Patrol volunteer email list, contact email@example.com