May 20 2013 Latest news:
By Emma Brennan
Friday, March 1, 2013
AN amphibian enthusiast, who is to be honoured for his voluntary work with wildlife, has put out an urgent call for people to help toads cross a busy road during the breeding season.
George Millins has been invited to attend a ceremony next Wednesday evening to receive a Babergh Community Achievment Award.
But, instead, he will be helping to save the lives of dozens of frogs, toads and smooth newts as they attempt to cross Folly Road in his home village of Great Waldingfield.
At peak times during the toads’ annual migration, back to ponds where they spawned, up to 200 can be killed in an evening on a single road.
Every year across Suffolk, a number of ‘toad patrols’ are organised by volunteer conservationists who monitor the roads for two hours in the early evening, on a rota basis, during a six-week period from late February.
Mr Millins said: “The toads only move when the weather is damp and above 6C, and, as it has been very cold recently, this has delayed the migration. But as soon as the temperature rises a bit, they will start to move again.
“The population is already declining significantly because of the migration, coupled with the fact that people manicure their gardens, which has led to loss of terrestrial habitat.”
Mr Millins needs more volunteers to help at the Folly Road site, which he says is particulary hazardous due to the volume of traffic using the road to access Great Waldingfield Primary School.
He added: “The toads are crossing from gardens to the pond in the school grounds so I would urge motorists to heed the warning signs and please slow down to give the toads, and the volunteers, a chance.”
No experience is required, but volunteers need a high-visibility vest, latex gloves, a bucket and a powerful torch. To help in Folly Road, call Mr Millins on 07534 263629. Visit www.froglife.org for more information.