Monthly Archives: March 2011

Toad Press – Not flat just famous!

Hi all,

A quick update on the Toad Crossings in Calderdale.
Firstly, last night at Washer Lane, Steve, Hugh and Lisa were joined by Calendar News, and a report should be broadcast on Calendar tonight after the news at 6pm – tune in!

At Lumbutts, Tuesday saw 105 toads helped across the roads and 14 casualties, with more toads on the move expected last night. Pub traffic keeps the road busy, so if you happen to be there at any time feel free to engage in some toad chat with folks at the bar! They’ve had around 200 toads over the last week, and on Tuesday were joined by Matt Wilson, a keen herpetologist who has immortalised Gordon and Margaret’s endeavours on his own blog, the European Amphibian & Reptile Blog.

Hebble End crossing has had plenty of activity, and last night well over 40 toads were helped, thanks to the volunteers there!

Woodhouse Road in Todmorden has also had toads on the move, but remains hazardous, with a lot of traffic leading to some casualties.

Hebden Hey has had about 70 toads over the past couple of nights, and 4 newts as a bonus. Thanks to the volunteers getting involved there, we should be able to help the toads on nights when the Scout Hut is in use.

I hope everyone has been able to get in touch with a Toad Crossing co-ordinator if they want to get involved, if you have any questions or issues please get in touch with Hugh Firman at the Countryside Services on email;, or phone; 01422 393214. He can pass on your query to the right co-ordinator.

Keep a weather eye out for those toads!
Thanks, Christine.

2011-03-31T16:32:00+01:00March 31st, 2011|0 Comments

Oats Royd

It is slightly out of Calderdale (by a few yards) but close enough.
There are about 210 clumps of frog spawn in 5 of the 7 ponds.
Green Wood, GSW, chiffchaff (1) plus the usual.

2011-03-26T14:46:00+00:00March 26th, 2011|0 Comments

Toads on the move, mid-March as usual

The earliest I heard of were about a dozen at Lumbutts, around 14th. Last night, on 22nd about 50 were helped by toad patrollers at the same site. (I believe they may have enough helpers there.)
Tonight, 23rd, I got to Washer Lane (Sowerby Bridge) too late for one pair of toads at 7.30. Another single female was run over while I was down the hill, but I picked up 12 including a couple of females. These are bigger then the males, as you can see from the picture. When the male climbs on and grips her under the front legs this position is termed amplexus. It is common if not universal in anurans (frogs and toads) but newts mate in a completely different way.
The couple in the picture actually met in my bucket! I stayed till only 9.30 because they seemed to have stopped moving, but I have known us to be out till midnight on warm, damp evenings.
Volunteers need a torch and bucket. We can supply high visibility vests. We think these are essential.
2011-03-23T23:42:00+00:00March 23rd, 2011|0 Comments

Shelf Road Toad Crossing?

Hello all,

We’ve had a mysterious report from Froglife that Toadlets were seen at a potential crossing on Shelf Road last year. Someone filled in their online form to report them, but nothing was ever followed up.

Does anyone know anything about this site? Or would anybody who lives locally be interested in checking this out as the weather gets warmer?

We’d be grateful for any information about this, please get in touch with Hugh Firman if you have further details. Email:, or phone; 01422 393214.

Thanks, Christine.

2011-03-22T18:30:00+00:00March 22nd, 2011|0 Comments

Toad Crossings

Hello all,

Now the first Toads have been on the move in the area, we’re extending a plea for volunteer Toad patrollers at some of Calderdale’s Toad Crossing sites. We need some extra hands (and buckets!) to help our Toads cross the roads.

Five sites around Calderdale have been identified where Toads are at a high risk from traffic:
– Hebble End in Hebden Bridge
– Lumbutts/Mankinholes
– Hebden Hey in Hebden Wood
– Woodhouse Road in Todmorden
– Washer Lane in Sowerby Bridge

New ‘Toad Crossing’ road signs will be going up at Lumbutts and Hebble End as soon as possible, encouraging road users to drive carefully, but we still need volunteers! Particularly at the Woodhouse Road and Hebble End sites.

If you’re interested and could spare the odd evening to help with some Toad transportation please get in touch with Hugh Firman at the Countryside Services. By email;, or phone; 01422 393214.

Thanks, Christine.

2011-03-22T18:11:00+00:00March 22nd, 2011|0 Comments


Hi all
I will be needing a decent camera shortly for wildlife photography and would appreciate advice from you clever people.
Mike has suggested interchangeable lenses. What do you use/recommend?

2011-03-21T12:14:00+00:00March 21st, 2011|0 Comments


My first Small Tortoiseshell butterfly of the year, seen in grassland at Todmorden today.

2011-03-18T18:04:00+00:00March 18th, 2011|0 Comments

Cromwell Bottom LNR

A reminder that the next walk is at Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve (Elland Gravel Pits) to see amphibians and their spawn. Meet Colin Duke at the Anglers’ car park at Saturday 19th March. (see HSS walks)

Also, at 10:00 am meet Robin Dalton, Area Countryside Officer,Safer, Cleaner, Greener, to help with the practical management of Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve (01422) 393244 or 07795965128. You will need to bring sturdy footwear and gloves (of the rigger/gardening type), lunch and plenty of energy! Tools provided. (see Blog post 9th March)

2011-03-18T13:13:00+00:00March 18th, 2011|0 Comments

Tree Sparrow Main Colony also Toads on the move.

At Jay House Lane today, two of us were replacing repaired nestboxes and painting numbers on them. Lots of sparrows in the area. Thanks to Paul for the repairs.

One that had had a dead fledgling in (No. 01 on the big oak at the top) last autumn today had a fresh nest built in it. (Materials – hay and straw.) But no eggs yet.

A big weasel, no black tail tip – so not a stoat, crossed the road.

The first part of the hedge-laying, and the replanting in hedge gaps, has been completed. Second part of the laying will be done by the contractors in 2012.

I have had word that toads have started moving at Lumbutts in numbers (they have enough volunteers there) but I haven’t seen any at Washer lane.

2011-03-17T23:43:00+00:00March 17th, 2011|0 Comments
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