Henley Toad Patrol are toad-lly grateful to Henley business, Screaming Frog for their donation to help buy three large high-vis 2 metre banners and 100 AA batteries for their torches this year.
Since February, Henley Toad Patrol have again helped the amphibian migration across the busy A4155 Henley to Marlow Road. They have installed a temporary barrier in the privately owned Oaken Grove Wood on the Culden Faw estate and each evening volunteers go out at dusk to collect the toads, newts and frogs at the barrier and those who have gone around it on to the road. They collect them in buckets and then ferry them to their spawning pond in the grounds of Henley Business School.
Nicola Taylor who has been volunteering for the last 2 years thought Screaming Frog would be the perfect company to approach. Nicola said, “I’d like to say a big thank you to Screaming Frog as the banners have made a massive difference this year to warn drivers of the patrol to get them to slow down and the 20 or so volunteers are very grateful for the batteries as we all get through quite a lot over the season. This year I decided to give names to the ones that we caught on the road – the latest names are our medallists at the Commonwealth Games!”
The total so far for 2018 season is 5,969 toads (approximately 2,333 males, 374 females and 1,631 pairs), 678 frogs and 451 newts. John Sumpter who has been recording the numbers said, “Newts are the big surprise this year. This is by far the highest number of newts I can recall being collected. In fact it is nearly double the previous highest total, which was for last year. A lot of newts have been collected in the last few days, suggesting that peak newt migration occurs later than the peak for toads (mid-March) and frogs (early March). There are well over 1,000 returning toads, a good proportion of which are females which have returned to Oaken Grove Wood. Females tend to leave the pond first because once they have spawned there is no sense in hanging around. Males, in contrast, hang around just in case!”
Oliver Brett from Screaming Frog said, “Screaming Frog are passionate about all things amphibious and we are always keen to support a good local cause. We’re obviously very pleased to see there’s a good number of frogs that the volunteers are helping across the road as well as the large number of toads.”