Photographs by Jules Howard
Toad Patroller Checklist
As the run-up to the migration season begins, you might find this checklist useful to make sure you’re adequately prepared!
Click here to download our Toad Patrol Pack for reference or to distribute to volunteers.
1. It’s important to get in touch with all your regular Patrollers from previous years and advertise for new ones if necessary. There are posters available for you to display in local shops/community centre’s /etc. These can be found at the back of the Toad Patrol Pack.
2. When you hear back from potential Patrollers, find out their availability, experience and get their contact details (daytime and evening).
3. If you do not live particularly near to the crossing site, try and find a local person (e.g. a dog walker, or someone who lives or works nearby) who can keep an eye out for toads starting to move – they can then let you know, even if they’re not able to patrol themselves.
4. Arrange for all the Patrollers to visit the site in daylight to familiarise themselves well in advance of the migration season. Perhaps organise an informal meeting (at a local pub or café) and then use this opportunity to ensure all new patrollers are briefed on their task and understand the recording forms.
5. Ensure everybody has read a Risk Assessment and signed a Volunteer Declaration
6. Confirm availability of each of your Patrollers – this will help if you want to draw up a rota.
PLEASE NOTE: Although you can volunteer as much or as little as you like, patrol managers do expect commitment and enthusiasm. Toad patrolling is not a one-off event. Migration can run from as early as January to as late as April and will include going out in the evenings in wet conditions.
- Please see the Health and Safety section of the Patrol Pack – make sure you carry out a Risk Assessment and get all Patrollers to sign a Volunteer Declaration when they first join your patrol. Each volunteer will only have to complete the form once for each site they patrol on.
- Toad migrations can start anytime between late-January (southwest England) and late-March (northeast England, eastern Scotland) so be sure to check the local weather forecast for the first run of consistently mild (>5°C), wet nights and make sure all Patrollers are prepared. It will help to have someone nearby or who can check the road regularly to inform you when the toads are beginning to move.
- Websites that may be of use (remember to look at night time conditions): Met Office or BBC Weather
- Make sure all volunteers have the means to record their data (even if it’s just a scrap of paper and a pencil!) and that it is collected each night.
- Remember toads are most likely to move during, or just after, appropriate weather so the migration may happen in several ‘waves’.
- Once you have collected all the records, submit your data by filling out and returning the data recording sheet to: email@example.com at the end of the season.
All contact details and personal information is handled according to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For further information, see our document data protection notice
Toad patrol managers must adhere to GDPR regulations in relation to holding and using personal data on toad patrollers. Please read our GDPR advice for patrol managers guidance document.