As part of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead’s gully maintenance programme, VolkerHighways has been helping to clear toad ladders of debris, ahead of the animals’ migration in March.
The Royal Borough’s work was completed with the help of a dedicated team of ‘toad patrol’ volunteers, along with VolkerHighways and Wild Maidenhead.
Research in 2016 by Froglife and the University of Zurich found that the UK common toad population has dropped by 68 per cent, and with the Deerswood area in Maidenhead being home to one of the largest remaining colonies in the south of England, the conservation work is vital.
Each spring, the toads’ journey to their breeding pond takes them across a number of roads near Ray Mill Road East, and they are prone to falling down drains, unable to escape.
The toad ladders were introduced in 2017 by Wild Maidenhead, with a hundred brought in, the largest installation of its kind in the country.
The recent work undertaken by VolkerHighways cleared ladders that had become jammed with leaves and debris, ensuring they are ready for the toads’ journeys in March.
Cllr Rayner, cabinet member for culture and communities, said: “Maidenhead is incredibly fortunate to have such a strong knot of toads and we must do all we can to preserve the population. The ladders will greatly assist their migration in allowing a safer journey. The Royal Borough is a beautiful area with much wildlife and nature that is hugely valued by our residents.”
Jan Stannard, co-founder of Wild Maidenhead, said: “We were really grateful for the help given so willingly by VolkerHighways for this essential work. The crew were very helpful and our volunteers were very impressed with their kind and willing co-operation. A big thanks to the business and the crew for helping to conserve a declining species.”
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