03:00PM, Tuesday 05 February 2019
Toad ladders have been readied ahead of the amphibians’ migrations in March.
They help the animals’ journeys over roads, where they are prone to falling into drains and struggle to escape, to their breeding ponds.
Nature group Wild Maidenhead introduced 100 ladders in 2017, the largest installation in the country – which is important given that the Deerswood area is home to one of the largest toad colonies in southern England.
Wild Maidenhead, road maintenance company VolkerHighways and toad patrol volunteers helped with the ladders as part of the Royal Borough’s gully maintenance programme.
Cllr Samantha Rayner (Con, Eton Wick), the council’s 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.”
The toads migrate in spring and their path to the breeding ponds takes them across roads around Ray Mill Road East.
VolkerHighways removed leaves and debris from the ladders.
Wild Maidenhead’s co-founder Jan Stannard said: “We were really grateful for the help given so willingly by VolkerHighways, led by David Horton, for this essential work.
“The crew were very helpful and patient and our volunteers, about ten in total, were very impressed with their kind and willing co-operation. A big thanks to the company and the crew for helping to conserve a declining species.”
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