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Posted by W von Papinešu on March 17, 2003 at 07:59:49:
BATH CHRONICLE (UK) 15 March 03 Closing The Road Is Good For Toads
Banning traffic on a section of road in Bath is already estimated to have helped save the lives of more than 150 toads, frogs and newts from untimely accidents. Charlcombe Lane was temporarily closed to traffic last month to help save the toads from the dangers of the narrow road.
The area is home to the largest toad-crossing route in the district and each year more than 100 toads - up to a third of the local population - are squashed by vehicles.
But since the road was closed on February 10, conservationists have been helping the toads safely across the street under cover of night.
Volunteers have been out at night to help carry the creatures across the lane to safety and the breeding grounds which await on the other side Hundreds of toads begin waking from a winter hibernation in February and March in the fields above Charlcombe to begin the short journey down the valley to their breeding ground.
They hibernate under clusters of trees and bushes high on the hills next to the lane, but when they wake they start moving towards the busy narrow lane - where they need humans to come to their aid.
Jane Briggs, community landscapes project officer at Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: "The closure of Charlcombe Lane was initiated by local residents and The Wildlife Trust - and everyone involved in the project is delighted with how successful it as been.
"We have already saved more than 150 amphibians and the road will be closed for well over another month so it is anticipated that we will be able to save many more."
The life-saving work is set to continue until the road fully reopens on Monday, April 21.
NOTTINGHAM EVENING POST (UK) 15 March 03 Why Did The Mp Cross The Road? To Help A Toad In Trouble!
Toads hopping home are being helped on their way by caring villagers.
Residents at Beanford Lane, Oxton, have closed the road for a month so the amphibians can cross to their breeding grounds safely.
The annual toad crossing is believed to be the only one of its kind in the UK.
Organisers reckon it helps to save thousands of the creatures each year.
Toad champion Margaret Cooper said: "At this time of year the sleepy toads, fresh from hibernation, begin migrating to their place of birth to breed.
"Unfortunately these treks often take them across busy roads, which risk them being killed by passing motorists."
The road closure first took place in 1999 - when residents lobbied Notts County Council.
The migration happens at the same time each year as the spring warmth wakes the creatures.
The event is now sponsored by Severn Trent Water. Staff will join toad patrols in different parts of Oxton.
Residents will spend their evenings on the look-out for toads in trouble. Diversions are in place for traffic.
Colin Green, the company's environmental adviser, said: "It's fantastic to be able to make this area of Oxton a car-free zone to help the toads on their way."