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Last Updated: Monday, 9 February, 2004, 06:46 GMT
Randy toads halt traffic
Only 49 toads were killed during this year's spring crossing
Lovestruck toads are being given extra protection by the closure of a road they cross as they head for their breeding grounds.

Previously, hundreds have been squashed on Charlcombe Lane in Bath. In 2002 Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) decided to close it until they had all crossed safely.

The scheme was widely supported by local residents and more than 800 were saved two years ago when part of the lane was closed to traffic between February and April.

The toads make their way annually from the surrounding hills, north of the city, to the lakes in the valley below, where they breed.

In 2003, volunteers collected 619 toads, 94 frogs and 66 newts and gave them a lift on their way to the breeding grounds.

This year, Wessex Water has contributed 750 to help publicise and enforce the scheme.

"We are delighted to receive this Wessex Watermark Award which helps us pay for the road closure," said Mary Thompson, a volunteer from the rescue group.

Jane Briggs, B&NES's Wildlife Community Officer said: "It actually reduces the mortality of the toads quite considerably."

The road will close for eight weeks from Monday, 9 February.

Frisky toads saved by volunteers
08 May 03  |  Somerset
Road closed by frisky toads
13 Mar 03  |  England
Mating toads get road signs
07 Mar 03  |  England
Toad croaking tackled
27 Feb 02  |  England


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