Kent Toad Patrol is calling for more volunteers.

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Volunteers step up to save local toads at Painters Forstal.

Local toads are to be helped across a busy road at Churchman’s Farm, Stalisfield Road, as part of a national campaign to help save the common toad from disappearing in the region.

With spring arriving and the weather turning milder, volunteers from Faversham and the surrounding area are gearing up to visit the site on suitable nights from February to April and will carry toads over the busy road to help them reach their breeding pond on the other side.

“Our Toad Patrol has been running over 10 years, and during this time we’ve rescued thousands of toads. It’s really good fun and great to know that we are helping with the plight of toads in the area.” Said Amanda “We’re eager to get more people volunteering though, and we want to hear from people with an interest in helping an unusual and charismatic amphibian during the breeding season. Not just at Painters Forstal, there are patrols at Stowting, Newnham, Sevenoaks and Westerham too.

The common toad- a wonderfully charming amphibian with ‘warty’ skin and waddling gait- is experiencing declines in the UK, in some cases caused by the effect of road traffic as toads travel slowly back to their breeding ponds.

These local volunteers are part of a national campaign named ‘Toads on Roads’, coordinated by the national wildlife charity Froglife, and supported by Kent Amphibian and Reptile Group, part of a network of volunteer groups concerned with amphibian and reptile conservation. In the coming months, thousands of volunteers across the country will be preparing to help toads across roads in a coordinated effort to help save the common toad from further declines.

Other toad patrols exist in Kent details of which can be found on the Froglife website: www.froglife.org

Kent Reptile and Amphibian Group www.kentarg.org

Contact toadpatrol@kentarg.org

Facts about common toads:

IDENTIFYING FEATURES

  • Adults grow up to around 10cm long
  • Dry, ‘warty’ skin
  • Body colour is generally brown-green-grey and can have some dark markings on the back. Like the common frog a toad’s colour can change depending on the environmental conditions it experiences
  • Has a gland behind each eye that secretes a toxin (bufotoxin), making it distasteful to predators
  • Moves by crawling, but can make small hops
  • The eye has a bronze/gold coloured iris and a horizontal pupil
  • Belly is a light colour and can be spotted

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