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Last Updated: Friday, 24 August 2007, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Award for endangered toad project
The pool being created for natterjack toads
Special pools were created to encourage the toads to breed
A Dorset council has won an award for re-introducing a rare breed of toad to a nature reserve.

The natterjack toad used to be common across England and was found in Christchurch Harbour until the 1950s.

Due to loss of habitat it has become an endangered species and is now one of the rarest native amphibians.

A colony of natterjacks has now been re-introduced to Stanpit Marsh and the borough council has received a Green Apple Award for the project.

Between 2001 and 2004, volunteers helped to create a habitat for the toads by removing scrub and creating temporary pools for the spawn.

natterjack toad
The natterjack toads an endangered native species

It has taken six years for the toads to get established and in 2007 they bred naturally, outside their enclosures, for the first time.

Councillor Colin Jamieson, portfolio holder for improving the environment, said: "[The award] is a testament to the hard work and dedication, not only of our countryside service wardens, but also of the many volunteers who give up their own time freely to help with projects such as this.

"This may seem like a small-scale project, but anything that we can do to help preserve endangered native species can only be of benefit to the environment."

The Green Apple Awards aim to promote environmental best practice in the UK, and this is the third year running a Christchurch Borough Council project has been recognised.

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