07/03/2023 - Permalink

Road closed to help Ellesmere’s toads

Related topics: Highways, transport and environmental maintenance

Swan Hill in Ellesmere will be partially closed overnight until the end of April [2023] to help toads in the  area to head back to their breeding ponds after hibernation.

From 6 March to 30 April a section of the road will be closed between 7pm and 7am.

The section of Swan Hill that will be closed. (Source: one.network)

Meanwhile, a local group of volunteers called Ellesmere Toad Patrol will be on site each night – once the toads start migrating – to help the toads cross the road safely.

According to ToadLife, between the end of February and mid-April, toads all over the country will come out of hibernation and begin their hazardous journey back to their spawning ponds. Common toads are declining in the UK with thousands of toads being killed on our roads every year, and they really need our help. Toads usually move after dark when the temperature is above 6°C on damp evenings.

The numbers of toads recorded in Ellesmere are the largest known populations having to make the hazardous journey across roads to reach their ancestral breeding ponds in all of Shropshire and Staffordshire.

A diversion route will be in place whilst the roads are closed. Access will be provided to properties and businesses within the closures, for emergency service vehicles, and for pedestrians, dismounted cyclists and equestrians.

Local drivers are asked to look out for the toad signs on roads, and to take care, slow down and look out for volunteers in the Hi-Vis jackets.