Sue Binder, Manager of Newton Valence Toad Patrol, writes about her success in achieving road closures for the last three years during her Toad Patrol.
Newton Valence Toad Patrol has succeeded in closing the road for the toad migration for the last three years, which has resulted in a substantial reduction in toad deaths.
A majority of villagers supported the closure in a referendum sent out by the Parish Council, but, of course, you can’t please everyone! A small, but vocal, minority complained that the road should not be closed during the day as toads are not moving then. We suggested they might like to pay the traffic management company to come out every evening to put out the signs, as required by law, and they suddenly went quiet!
In an attempt to appease the dissenters, we managed, after months of negotiations, to get permission from Hampshire Highways for an experimental evenings only closure, allowing us to put out the signs ourselves, under supervision from Chapter 8 Traffic Management Company, to comply with the law. Chapter 8 are very toad-friendly, and agreed that “supervision“ could mean us putting out the signs every evening and photographing them in situ, then emailing the photos to Chapter 8, which saves us the fees!
This seems to be working well, and we hope that this initiative might pave the way for other Toad Patrols to try for evening closures too.