Hop to it: Could you be the next member of a toad patrol?
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Looking for a new hobby in 2021, which could also help the environment?
Then a call for volunteers to help toads dodge danger on their way to spawn could be the answer.
West Runton Toad Patrol is calling for people to join its ranks and help ensure the safe passage of common toads during their annual migration to spawning grounds.
One of several patrol teams in north Norfolk, the West Runton patrol has helped save the lives of more than 2,000 toads over the past five years.
Led by Carole Davidson, and armed with a bucket, torch and high viz jackets, patrol members go out in pairs to help toads avoid "carnage" on the roads come January and February when the annual migration begins.
Ms Davidson said although it is very weather dependent, toads usually start their migration on mild nights in January and February.
The 61-year-old, said: "Toads don't live in water they live in damp areas close to water and will move back towards a pond for spawning when the weather becomes mild.
- 1 Man dies in hospital after fight near Norfolk pub
- 2 Huge seaside home with indoor pool for sale for £600,000
- 3 The Bill star reveals he has moved to Norfolk and why he loves it
- 4 Queues form at Norfolk petrol stations - despite reassurances over stock
- 5 Petrol stations close nationally as HGV driver crisis worsens
- 6 Some queues - but business largely as usual at Norfolk's petrol stations
- 7 How farm shop grew from honesty-box shed to £1.2m turnover
- 8 SOLD! Royal Arcade goes for £2m MORE than guide price
- 9 Spectacle of light with 'Norfolk's biggest ever firework display' announced
- 10 Delays on A47 after lorry overturns
"I liken it to my youth when I used to go to discotheques, boys used to stand around the outside of the room waiting for the girls, the males are all hanging around the outside of the pond waiting for the females to arrive."
Ms Davidson said once the toads had spawned and had "done their business" they leave the pond and their "necklace-like" spawn behind to fend for itself.
She said before the patrol was started, toads would often fall victims to cars on the village's roads: "It was carnage on a busy night because the toads haven't got a hope [on the roads], when it comes to toads, drivers either aren't aware, don't care or just don't see them."
Despite now being an avid amphibian advocate, the retired accountant said she hadn't always felt that way.
"I've learnt to love it, I used to be scared of toads and I think it's because I saw the difference [the patrols make, that it changed], now I'm just a bit of a fanatic," she said.
Anyone interested in joining the patrol should contact Carole Davidson via Whatsapp on 07587 186975 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.