CONCERNED residents in Maidenhead are fighting to help save a colony of migrating common toads with a special solution.

Toad Patrol, launched by the Friends of Deerswood group, hope their scheme will prevent the toads from falling through drain covers by placing specially constructed ‘ladders’ underneath them.

In total 118 of these ladders, which enable toads to climb out of the drains, have been made. It is thought to be the biggest project of its kind in the country.

The funding for some of the ladders has come from two Riverside ward members, Cllrs Adam Smith and Judith Diment, who used their member budgets.

Cllr Diment said: “Toads usually migrate in February and March from land all around the lake north of Ray Mill Road East. The council has a statutory duty to protect biodiversity in the borough and I was pleased to be able to use my budget for this project.”

Wild Maidenhead, another wildlife concern group, has joined to make this project one of its key activities.

Jan Stannard, a founder member of Wild Maidenhead and Friends of Deerswood, said: “The common toad is in serious decline all over the UK. We have one of the largest colonies in the south of England in the area around Ray Mill Road East in Maidenhead. Over two thousand toads will attempt to cross several roads around the Strand Lane Lake, and the lake just north of Ray Mill Road East, and many are at risk of falling into drains and drowning.”