A GROUP of volunteers are hoping to it ahead of the annual toad breeding season.

A section of Swan Hill in Ellesmere has been partially closed overnight for more than a month to help the romantic amphibians head back to their breeding ponds after hibernation.

The town is known to have the largest toad populations across Shropshire and Staffordshire.

Meanwhile, the group of volunteers called Ellesmere Toad Patrol will be on site each night between the 7pm and 7am closure once the toads start migrating to help them cross the road safely.

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 spawning ponds.

An Ellesmere Toad Patrol spokesperson spoke about how their help can protect the species.


They added: "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."

The closure will be in place until Sunday, April 30.