The Yorkshire T.O.A.D. project ran from January 2021 until March 2022. The overall aim of the project was to stop the decline in toads across Yorkshire and replenish populations.
We aimed to achieve this by:
• Creating and restoring 54 freshwater habitats and creating 5 wildflower meadows.
• Training 252 volunteers
• Audit toad patrols to help reduce road mortality
• Delivering 50 wildlife gardening workshops
• Hosting 10 events at high footfall sites
• Directly reaching 12,810 people
• Creating 2 new positions.
The project was a great success and we exceeded most of our original targets set out above.
Working with partners in York, Leeds, Wakefield, Calderdale, Kirklees throughout the project we improved 70 freshwater habitats at 20 sites covering an area of 18 ha. We improved terrestrial habitat by creating 2 wildflower meadows (plus 2 more in Neighbourhood Wildlife Corridors), 23 hibernacula, 3 reptile banks. At 15 sites we carried out tree works to improve foraging habitat and create brash piles.
“Darren and the Froglife team have been an invaluable resource. There advice, knowledge and commitment to creating and improving wetland habitats and associated wildlife has been integral to us as an a local authority to achieve our biodiversity targets. We look forward very much to working with Frog life on a regular basis and on future wetland projects”
Pete Banks Greenspace Ranger Kirklees Council
Through the training sessions we reached 292 volunteers across 10 sites. Volunteers received training in habitat management and the identification, survey and reporting of amphibians. These volunteers will carry on our work at the sites where we have created habitat to help maintain and report the outcomes.
All active toad patrols in Yorkshire were contacted. All of the 19 sites that responded were visited and needs assessed with Toad Patrol Managers. Remedial actions to help improve the crossings for both toads and toad patrollers were identified. These included production of 60 information and warning signs, provision of 60 hi-viz Jackets and torches, and coir planting to improve habitat in the breeding ponds
“We’re official! With our new Froglife signage and Toad Volunteer High Vis tabards, we are being stopped by so many motorists and passers-asking what we are doing – the interest is incredible! The coir bales planted with native water plants are of huge interest too as we explain how the habitat has now been improved for the toads and wildlife. Thank you, Darren and Froglife!”
Charlotte Williams, Toad Patrol Crossing Manager, Cottonstones 729
Wildlife Gardening Workshops
Due to the restrictions placed on public gatherings by Covid-!9 we delivered workshops through a combination of online and in person sessions. In this period we completed the remaining sessions, delivering a total of 50 sessions, 17 in person and 33 online. The sessions were attended by a total of 1308 individuals. The workshops were initially aimed primarily at allotment holders but we also provided more general wildlife gardening at home sessions on line. The feedback from these sessions was universally positive and as a result over 100 people pledged to create new habitat or manage their green spaces with wildlife at the forefront.
“Extremely interesting and informative workshop, full of valuable information and ideas. [The Trainer] clearly knows a lot about her subject and delivers it in a very clear, easy to understand way – excellent.”
“Nice to find ways to bring nature back into allotments and empowered to be less regimented “
“Really interesting, with lots of simple things dear to improve the environment for frogs and toads. Can wait to try them out.”
In total we hosted 17 events during the project at sites across the Yorkshire region ranging from country parks to shopping centres and country shows. Overall 5443 people directly engaged with us at these events, and 1798 took part in activities. Activities included pond dipping, bug hunts, making seed bombs, and a variety of different craft activities. Through footfall on the day and social media we reached over 60,000 people.
Neighbourhood Wildlife Corridors
We identified 5 areas of high social deprivation to target for Neighbourhood Wildlife Corridors (NWC) in York, Dewsbury, Wakefield and Sheffield. We worked with communities through a variety of events, sessions and activities. We reached 60,000 people in total through the project and 3,700 of these were actively involved. Over 2000 people took part in activities and we created 18 new areas of habitat including 10 pond creation or restorations, 6 hibernacula and 2 wildflower meadows.
“We had a great presentation and training session from Darren at the AGM of Horbury & District Allotments and Gardens Association. It generated a good discussion about what could be achieved with a little bit of care and effort. The evening got many members thinking about what they could do differently on their allotments to benefit toads and other wildlife.”
Working with Froglife, allotment holders, volunteers from a local law firm and the local Parish Council (Sitlington), we established a wildlife area on our allotment site which includes a pond and hibernaculum . From this we are hoping that some of the younger family members of allotment holders will spend more time on the allotment site and get involved with the wildlife area .I believe that without exception, all our allotment holders were introduced to the allotment and to gardening as children and hopefully this project will stimulate the interest of the next generation. They are probably further removed from food production than at any point in our history ,so every little helps.”
Richard Smith. President Horbury & District AAGA
The Trainee gained a new post as an Assistant Ecologist. The skills and experience gained whilst working on this project were instrumental in her success in securing this job.
We continued to work with volunteers. Throughout the duration of the project 400 volunteers contributed 875 hours of their time to the project.
Thanks to our Funder