03:50AM, Thursday 14 March 2013
Toads around Ray Mill Road East in Maidenhead will enjoy a safer spring once again thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers.
The Toad Patrol is back at work ensuring as many amphibians as possible make their journey across the road towards Summerleaze Lake without being squashed.
About 15 people, ranging in age from children of seven or eight to adults in their 50s and 60s, head out in the evenings armed with torches, buckets and high-visibility jackets.
The patrol is once again being co-ordinated by Ben Gammons, whose interest in the project stems from his time as a pupil at Claires Court School, which is also in Ray Mill Road East.
"As a child I remember seeing lots of toads around the area," he said.
"I just wanted to help out. I'm a bit of an amphibian enthusiast."
Ben, 29, resurrected the group last year with the help of wildlife charity Froglife and support from the British Wildlife Trust.
He started roping friends in and the patrol steadily grew.
The common toad, which is a protected species in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, hibernates underground through the winter.
The creatures tend to mass migrate in warm, damp weather towards the ponds where they breed.
A toad can live for up to 40 years.
Ben, from Boyn Hill Road, said there are quite low numbers in the area, making it important to save as many as possible to try and boost the population.
The patrol is always looking for new volunteers.
Email Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
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