Stroud toads helped to cross roads in a bid to boost numbers

Common toad Common toads are very rarely found in garden ponds, and rely on countryside ponds for breeding

Related Stories

Nature lovers are trying save the dwindling toad population in a group of Gloucestershire valleys.

A fence has been put up at Pitchcombe in Stroud's Five Valleys, where the A46 meets the A4173, to help protect the creatures from passing traffic.

Every night toad patrollers will check the route, count the toads and then carry them across the road to safety.

Ellen Winter from the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust said the fall in numbers was a huge problem.

"I know of a couple of toad populations in the Stroud area that are now extinct largely because of traffic," she added.

"Pitchcombe is well known because it crosses the A46 and it's well patrolled [with] quite a few hundred toads.

"I think it's 200 or 300 hundred toads that were rescued last year."

Breeding ponds

Toads are very conservative about where they breed and a decline in numbers is accelerated when roads are built across their migration routes.

Ms Winter said approximately 20 tonnes of toads are killed in the UK each year trying to reach breeding waters.

The migration period is usually in February, although it is weather dependent so can happen any time from now until March.

It is thought the decline in toad numbers is also being affected by the loss of breeding ponds. It is very unusual to find them in garden ponds.

The number of countryside farmland ponds has declined by 90% in the last 50 years.

The Five Valleys are a group of valleys in Gloucestershire which converge on the town of Stroud at the western edge of the Cotswolds.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Gloucestershire



Min. Night 17 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of

  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news

  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support

  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • CastleRoyal real estate

    No longer reserved for kings and queens, some find living in a castle simply divine


  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.