Toads in the hole are off to spawn safely

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - COUNTRYFILE -

THE an­nual toad mi­gra­tion has started and the tun­nels at Beach­bor­ough are al­ready in use.

Three tun­nels were built last year un­der­neath the busy El­ham Val­ley Road, to en­able toads to reach the lakes at Beach­bor­ough.

Each year toads have to move to wa­ter in or­der to breed and they find their way back each year to the pond in which they were born.

The toad colony at Beach­bor­ough is one of the largest colonies in East Kent, with around 4,000 toads be­ing counted each year by vol­un­teers.

The tun­nels are thought to be the first in East Kent and re­ceived fund­ing from the Rail Link Coun­try­side Ini­tia­tive and the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Fund of the Kent Downs AONB Unit. The White Cliffs Coun­try- side Project has been help­ing the Beach­bor­ough Con­ser­va­tion Group for six years with the con­struc­tion and main­te­nance of the toad fenc­ing.

Brett Clitheroe, chair­man of the con­ser­va­tion group, said: “We went down to the toads last night and we found about 10 hop­ping around the en­trances.

“We have been check­ing the pots each morn­ing and found two toads the other morn­ing, which were re­leased by the en­trance and ap­par­ently went off hap­pily down the tun­nel.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the White Cliffs Coun­try­side Project phone 01304 241806.

Toad tun­nels be­ing mon­i­tored by landowner Gor­don Wal­lis, Alan Kyte, Brett Clitheroe and David Standen of the Rail Link Coun­try­side Ini­tia­tive

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