Why did the St Ippolyts toad cross the road? To get to the other side of course...
PUBLISHED: 08:18 25 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:22 25 February 2017
It’s been a long winter but spring is not far off – and it’s not only humans who are getting excited at the prospect of warmer weather.
North Herts hosts an abundance of amphibians and reptiles who are stirring from their winter slumbers – including toads, frogs, newts and snakes.
And your help is required to help toads cross the road.
For most of the year, toads live quiet, solitary lives, hidden away under stones or clods of earth and rarely seen.
But things change in early spring, when they have to find a pond in which to mate. This usually occurs from mid-February to mid-March, depending on weather conditions. For many toads, the route to their nearest pond is fraught with danger, as they have to cross busy roads at dusk, just when the rush hour traffic is at its height.
Every year volunteer Pam Davies helps toads cross the road around Redcoats Green near St Ippolyts. She said: “Unless kind human beings take a hand and help them safely across the road, large numbers of toads are killed every spring.
“At Redcoats Green, the pond near the Redcoats Farmhouse Hotel, draws toads from surrounding fields – but it is a very dangerous place for them, as traffic approaches from three directions.
“Every year, a small group of people, wearing yellow hi-vis jackets and equipped with buckets and torches, gathers here spending up to two hours picking up toads from the road, gently placing them in buckets and taking them to or from the pond.”
If you’re over 18 and would like to help toads contact Pam on 01462 434202.