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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet


Road in London Closes for Nearly a Month to Protect Migrating Toads as They Hop to the Other Side


A stretch of road in London has been closed to traffic for more than three weeks to allow toads to cross in safety to ponds where they breed.

A 400-meter (1,300-foot) section of Church Road in Ham, near Richmond is blocked to motorists until the start of April so the creatures don’t get squished on their annual migration.

‘Toad patrol’ volunteers man the road—which meanders through a leafy stretch of Richmond Park—at night, but the road remains blocked off all day. And locals have been heaping praise on the conservation initiative.

The charity Froglife, which is responsible for recruiting volunteers, says the road, which is one of many across Britain that take part in the eco-conscious project, is among just a handful that remain completely blocked off to traffic.

The closure began on March 7, and is due to remain in place until April 1.

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A council road traffic order has been issued to block the road.


Part of it reads, “The road closure is intended to allow the toads to cross the carriageway unharmed and to eliminate the risk of accidents if drivers were to be
distracted by the presence of these creatures in their path.”

Richmond Council began sealing off the street in 2010 after worried locals wrote to council bosses to warn that creatures were being killed on their annual migration from hibernation to ponds where they breed.

It has become a source of amusement among locals.

They say it is not too disruptive as the road is normally quiet, has few houses along it, and the diversion is not painfully long.

But an earnest sign warning drivers ‘road closed for migrating toads—toad patrol volunteers on the road’ has not stopped passers-by poking fun at it.

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A steady stream of walkers has been stopping to take pictures to share with friends.

Retired IT manager Robert Brown, who lives in Richmond, said, “I think it is fantastic. To have that amount of consideration for toads I think is incredible. I have never actually seen any toads and only once saw someone we thought might be a volunteer, but I think it is great… It is a very British thing to do.”

Retired customer services advisor Dorris Watt, from Ham, said, ‘’I think it is a good idea to protect the toads. This is not a road you desperately need to drive down and it has gone on without causing any complaints.

“Only people from outside the area would complain if they can’t park. The toads live here, don’t they, so it’s their right of way?’”

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Marketing consultant Liz Workman, from Chiswick, said, “We have to look after our world and our wildlife. Good on them.”

Retired computer programmer Terry Newman, from Richmond, said. “It (the sign) is one of the first things I ever posted on Facebook.

‘’We have ever actually seen a toad there but we think it is brilliant. I love nature and it is a great idea.

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