Page last updated at 09:42 GMT, Sunday, 4 April 2010 10:42 UK

'Toad tunnels' for amphibians looking for love in Powys

The new toad tunnels
Toads are already using the new toad tunnels

Two special "toad tunnels" have been built under a Powys road to help amorous amphibians reach their breeding ground in safety.

For the last five years the road near Llandrindod Wells lake has been closed at night for three weeks to help hundreds of creatures looking for love.

Powys council, which built the tunnels, said they would protect amphibians from steep kerbs, cars and predators.

There is also a roadside ditch to help guide the animals underground.

In previous years, volunteers from Radnorshire Wildlife Trust have carried toads, frogs and newts in buckets because many were unable to climb the kerbs.

The tunnels have been built to the north-east of the lake along with the 400m ditch, which runs alongside the road.

'Dangers'

Powys council said hundreds of toads crossed the road every spring on their way from nearby woods to the lake to spawn, but before the road closure many fell victim to passing vehicles.

The local authority's ecologist, Hannah Powell, said: "The Llandrindod (toad) population is one of the most significant in Wales, but since the 1970s numbers have fallen from over 10,000, by nearly two-thirds.

"Such declines now mean that common toads are listed as a priority for conservation action across Wales.

"The purpose of the ditch and the tunnels is to provide a safe route for the toads underneath the road to the lake where they can avoid the dangers of crossing the road, including the steep kerbs around the lake, cars and predators."

Five out of the six species found in Wales breed in the lake, including the great crested newt, which is now protected by law as its numbers have declined so dramatically in recent years.



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SEE ALSO
Shut road leads to lakeside love
15 Mar 08 |  Mid Wales
Extra time for amorous amphibians
05 Mar 08 |  Mid Wales
Cold weather deters frisky toads
07 Apr 06 |  Mid Wales

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