8 April 2011

Talking Toads

As part of Froglife’s Tuppence a Toad campaign, we have been spreading the word far and wide about the plight of common toads on roads. Our education team hosted an interactive exhibition for National Science and Engineering Week, featuring a giant toad lollipop lady! The project was led by the young people on Froglife’s Green Pathways scheme and over 400 members of the public visited the exhibition in Peterborough city centre.

The installation consisted of a carpet road and cardboard car, which separated three small toads from their pond. Thankfully, the toad lollipop lady was there to help. Interactive ‘Scales of Justice’ enabled visitors to compare the 20 tonnes of toads that die on roads each year to equivalent weights of humans, cats, or elephants. Giant lily pad cushions provided a space for learning to make origami toads.

It took the hard work of young people from six Peterborough schools, two after school groups, young offenders from the Froglife Active Conservation Team, 1st Yaxley Brownies and Froglife’s Wildlife Ambassadors to pull together the remarkable exhibit. Perkins Learning Centre, Mears Workshop, Peterborough City Council, St John the Baptist Church and Opportunity Peterborough all donated the use of their facilities. The event was ‘Highly Commended’ in the Outstanding Achievement Award category from the British Science Association. National Science and Engineering Week is a great way for Froglife to develop our fun and exciting approach to environmental science education.

We have also been getting the message out about toads through the media – with Froglife staff and Toad Patrollers appearing on radio, in newspapers, magazines and online. As much as we can, we have been matching interested volunteers with their local patrols, or helping re-establish lost groups.

Toad Patrollers up and down the country have been rescuing toads over the last few weeks, with some toads still on the move. We will be announcing the grand total moved in 2011 later in the year when data from the Patrols comes in.

Keep your eyes out for those toads! And to all you Toad Patrollers out there – don’t forget you can submit your crossing data online!

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