WANDERING warty amphibians living near Cricklade may not make it through the spring unless volunteers step up to help.

Each year, usually in March, hundreds of toads make the journey across the old A419 to return to the lakes at Latton to breed.

Because of the weather conditions, the mass road crossing usually takes place at dusk which unfortunately for the toads, coincides with rush hour traffic.

As a result, thousands of toads are killed across the country each year as oblivious drivers fail to notice them hopping their way across major roads.

Last year, the Cotswold Water Park Trust worked with volunteers, including the Cricklade CAN!, to study and support the toad crossing.

Thanks to their efforts, and support from Froglife through their Toads on Roads project, nearly 200 toads were escorted across the road and saved from a grisly death.

In preparation for spring this year, the Trust is trying to organise some road signs on the old A419 to warn motorists to slow down at key times.

CWPT communications manager Jill Bewley said: “Last year it was incredible because they managed to save about 180 toads. There were a few casualties, but this year they are hoping to avoid that if we can get enough volunteers.

“Obviously the toads can’t tell us when they are going to go – when they go, they just go and they go en masse so it is just an impossible task for two people to do on their own.”

Biodiversity manager Gareth Harris said: “If you’d like to come and help collect toads and save them from certain death, your help would be much appreciated.

“Clearly there are certain health and safety considerations as we will be working from the roadside after dark. Thankfully there is a pavement along much of this stretch and the CWPTrust can provide hi-visibility jackets, torches and so on.

“Everyone is welcome but all children must be accompanied by an adult.”

The Cotswold Water Park Trust works to conserve and enhance the wildlife in the area through partnerships like these and the work carried out on this part of the road will mean many more common toads can breed through the summer.

If you’d like to help, contact Gareth Harris on 01793 752413 or gareth.harris@waterpark.org.