Volunteers are needed to stop local toads getting squashed on the road as they migrate from their hibernation sites back to their ancestral ponds on Pembrokeshire’s only official toad crossing.

The crossing from The Bug Farm on the outskirts of St Davids across the A478 to Dowrog Common sees hundreds of toads annually migrate on warmer wet evenings from January to late April.

The toads make the journey after dusk which means that very often drives do not see them until it is too late. To help them across the road, Ryan Shep, on behalf of the Pembrokeshire Amphibian and Reptile Group (ARG), has patrolled the route, travelling a long way from his home every evening to save St Davids' toads.

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Ryan has come to the end of his time as crossing patrol monitor and the toad crossing has been taken over by The Bug Farm.

“Toads are very particular about where they breed and follow the same migration route from their hibernation sites back to their ancestral ponds each year,” said Froglife, which manages the toad patrols across the UK.

"If something [such as the A487 main road] is constructed in their path, they carry on regardless".

The crossing was set up a few years ago after The Bug Farm team noticed a large number of toads on the A478 during migration season.

With the help of Pembrokeshire ARG and Pembrokeshire County Council toad crossing signs were put up at the end of the lane to The Bug Farm. The signs were immediately stolen and had to be replaced.

“They haven't seemed to make drivers slow down enough, so the toads need some extra help,” said founder of the Bug Farm, Dr Sarah Beynon.

Without a that help the body count can be huge.

"Just on one evening last week when we couldn't get out to help them, over 30 toads were squashed on the corner by The Bug Farm," said Sarah.

“We would like to have a rota of volunteers to call on to help as many toads as possible cross the road safely and collect data to help toad conservation more widely.

“This is incredibly important as, despite their name, so called 'common' toads have declined by over 68 per cent in the last 30 years. Froglife estimates that, in 2023 alone, over 118,000 toads were saved by toad patrollers in the UK.”

If you have an few hours spare in the evening and would be willing to help The Bug Farm with their toad patrols, please get in touch with the team by emailing info@thebugfarm.co.uk, they will send you a welcome pack, which can also be downloaded from the Froglife website.

Even if you don't want to be a toad patroller, Sarah says that everyone can help: "Please keep a lookout for toads on roads after dark at this time of year. Please slow down and avoid them,” she urged.

“If you see lots of toads crossing a road at another location in Pembrokeshire, please let us know so we can help to set up toad crossings in other areas too.”