Our own Great Migration
If you think that jaw dropping Wildlife is only to be found overseas, in Stinchcombe we are blessed with our own Great Migration – the annual return of amphibians to their ancestral ponds. On warm(ish) wet nights in early spring, hundreds of toads (and some frogs and newts) make their way across fields, hedges, ditches, woods to the ponds where they spawned to mate. We probably wouldn’t know it was happening if it wasn’t for something else they have to cross: the roads. If you’re driving down around St Cyr’s at the right time, it is very much the wrong time- the lanes are littered with the little creatures and it is nigh on impossible not to squash them. Unless of course, some kind humans help them.
For quite a few years now, Stinchcombe has been blessed with a strong team of volunteer Toad Patrollers who keep a weather eye on the lanes and are ready to grab raincoats and buckets to collect up the toads on the roads. It is now time to put together the team for 2022. It’s an interesting way to spend a February early evening – enjoying the full moon, the stars, owls, badgers, foxes, mice as well as the various amphibians on our patch, and social distancing is so easy!
Gloucestershire Toads On Roads
Tramping up and down the lane on cold, damp nights is not for everyone and there is no guarantee that you will see a toad but there are other ways to help out; investigating sightings, putting up posters etc. If you would like to help out this year, please let me know.
Even better, sign up to Gloucestershire Toads On Roads – GlosTOR– a county organisation linked to the national Amphibian Charity Froglife. They coordinate all the toad crossings in our county and provide guidance as well as feeding our results into the national database for important conservation work. You can sign up to GlosTor here: 2021 GlosTor Signup Form. If you have signed up before, please do so again- they don’t reuse contact details from previous years.
We are in Stroud District and our crossing is Stinchcombe Church Road. They will then put you in touch with me as Patrol Manager (one of my favourite descriptions) and I’ll be in touch with more information.