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Charlcombe toad rescue

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Every year, volunteers from Charlcombe Toad Rescue Group support the amphibians of Charlcombe Lane, in Bath, to safely prepare for their annual journey across the lane, as they make their way to their breeding lake at the bottom of the valley.

Toad rescue 2022.jpg

This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of the annual closure of Charlcombe Lane, ensuring common toads, frogs, and newts have the best chance of survival as they cross the road for breeding.

Charlcombe Lane, which is the most significant amphibian crossing in the district, will close this year for six weeks, from Monday 14 February and will reopen on Monday 28 March.

VolkerHighways, the highways term maintenance provider for Bath and North East Somerset Council, has been sponsoring the group since 2019. The business supports with the provision of signage and barriers for the road closure, which would otherwise be too costly for the group.

Charlcombe Toad Rescue Group has been active for over 20 years, and during that time has recorded approximately 39,500 amphibians crossing the road. The group of volunteers patrol the lane to help ensure the survival of as many amphibians as possible.

The project was initiated by local volunteers and is supported by Bath and North East Somerset Council, Froglife (the reptile and amphibian conservation charity) and the Avon Reptile and Amphibian Group.

It is estimated that 20 tonnes of toads are killed on UK roads each year and with amphibians on the decline the group is dedicated to preserving the lives of amphibians on Charlcombe Lane.

Helen Hobbs, patrol manager for Charlcombe Toad Rescue Group, said: “The group is indebted to VolkerHighways for its generous sponsorship with the provision of signage and barriers for the road closure, the cost of which would be beyond our reach, and without which our ability to fund the closure would be put at risk. Our volunteers work tirelessly every night, whatever the weather, but it is hugely rewarding for everyone when we get to see the fruits of our labour later in the spring and summer, when we visit the lake and see the spawn and the young frogs and toadlets.”

Charlie Cox, operations manager for VolkerHighways, said: “We are proud to support such a worthy group, who are working to improve and save the lives of thousands of amphibians each year. The work the Charlcombe Toad Rescue Group does is hugely impressive, and we are delighted that we are able to contribute to its successful work.”

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