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Projects to save Bexley's toads continue to jump ahead

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 September 2019

Training sessions are under way at Lesnes Abbey Woods to ensure the toads' future. Picture: Froglife Trust

Training sessions are under way at Lesnes Abbey Woods to ensure the toads' future. Picture: Froglife Trust

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A habitat vital for the wellbeing of toads in Bexley has been completed by a team of specialists.

The project will improve habitats for toads. Picture: Froglife TrustThe project will improve habitats for toads. Picture: Froglife Trust

In fact, vulnerable amphibian species across south east London have been given a boost thanks to a habitat restoration project in the borough.

Two sites have been restored to provide stable and sustainable habitats for toads and other amphibians, as part of Froglife Trust's cleverly named Tails Of Amphibian Discovery project, or Toad.

The community trust provided grants totalling £80,000 towards the scheme which has seen sites at Foots Cray Meadow and Lesnes Abbey Woods significantly enhanced.

It said wetland areas have been created at both sites to provide suitable habitats to support amphibian populations, while a large toad breeding pond at Lesnes Abbey Woods that had become overgrown has been restored.

Before and after images of a pond building project at Foots Cray Meadows. Picture: Froglife TrustBefore and after images of a pond building project at Foots Cray Meadows. Picture: Froglife Trust

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The project has also greatly improved the visual appeal of the sites to encourage the local community to visit, watch and learn about toads and other aquatic wildlife. Much of the work has been delivered by youth volunteers, while a volunteer training programme will give visitors the opportunity to learn more about toads and how to protect their habitats.

The Froglife Trust is a national wildlife charity committed to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles.

Kathy Wormald, CEO of The Froglife Trust, said it is vital work.

Training sessions are under way at Lesnes Abbey Woods to ensure the toads' future. Picture: Froglife TrustTraining sessions are under way at Lesnes Abbey Woods to ensure the toads' future. Picture: Froglife Trust

She went on: "Toad numbers have declined by 68 per cent over the past three decades, with London and the South East experiencing the highest rates of decline.

"The Toad programme aims to create habitats where toads and other amphibians can flourish."

And Angela Haymonds, trust secretary of Enovert Community Trust, added: "As well as the ecological benefits, the trust was also keen to support the project as the approach demonstrated a clear commitment to involve volunteers and provide an amenity for local people to enjoy."

For more information on Enovert Community Trust, contact Angela Haymonds on 01753 582513 or ahaymonds@enovertct.org or visit www.enovertct.org. And for more information about The Froglife Trust, visit www.froglife.org

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