Toads could be on the move earlier

The spring toad migration is due to begin shortly EMN-160216-132339001
The spring toad migration is due to begin shortly EMN-160216-132339001

The mild winter is prompting a local widllife group to be on the alert for an earlier than usual migration of toads.

Each year, in spring, the migration sees many hundreds of toads move from the hibernation grounds to their breedings ponds, which involves crossing over White Cross Lane, near Sleaford.

For the last two years, the toads have had the protection of a group of volunteers who have kept a vigilant eye on the migration in a bid to reduce the number of casualties from oncoming cars.

The White Cross Lane Toad Volunteer Group was founded in 2014 and in that year assisted around 3,000 toads to reach their breeding grounds in safety. Such has been the success of their efforts that last year the number rose to 4,000. Of course, that success means this year the group are expecting even greater numbers and, naturally, they need more volunteers to help.

Founder member of the group, Fiona Cousland, said: “Due to such a mild winter, the migration is due to start at any time now. We have already experienced some casualties on White Cross Lane a few weeks ago.

“The increase in the number of toads is certainly the result of fewer toads being killed due to the group patrolling the lane. It is a great success story.

“I have a fantastic band of volunteers, but this year we will need even more help and are looking for new volunteers.”

The group’s first volunteers’ meeting of the year was held on Saturday at Four Seasons Garden Centre.

If you would like to volunteer, you can contact Fiona on 07876707358 or 01529 415162, or Martin on 07763103846.