Toads in the hole are off to spawn safely
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