helping amphibians to survive


Toadwatch was started in 2004 - initially to help amphibians in Bowthorpe and Little Melton to the west of Norwich in the United Kingdom.  These were both important breeding sites and are registered with Froglife, unfortunately the growth in housing has led to the demise of the Bowthorpe toads and there is no longer a patrol there.  Since 2004 we have helped many other people to set up patrols to save their local toads.  Please see the contacts page if you would like help to set up a new patrol.

Click here to see a map of where we operate - the satellite view shows the ponds

During the migration season - which takes place on warm, wet evenings between February and April - volunteers carry toads, newts and frogs across the road in buckets.  Many thousands of animals are saved each year - without this help the local toad populations could become extinct.

Volunteers are given basic safety instructions and asked to wear a Hi Viz vest or jacket when working in the road.  The work is too dangerous for young children, as volunteers have to be responsible for their own safety  whilst they are helping the animals.

Why we do toad patrol

Toad facts

Toad Patrol in Norfolk

We are lucky to have so many ponds in Norfolk - so we have a lot of toads!  There are 18 patrols working together as Toadwatch and in 2015 they saved over 33,000 toads - which is nearly half the toads saved in the whole country.   There are around 150 patrols in the UK that report numbers to Froglife.   We know that there are many toads being lost at crossings that have no patrol and would like to a lot more patrols.

How we compare to other countries

The Netherlands and Switzerland have both recognized the importance of keeping their toads alive and have done much more to provide toad tunnels under their roads.   However tunnels are not possible at all crossing so patrollers are still needed.