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Our News

Toad Update:
Record numbers of toads spawning early in 2024

Migration started very early this year due to the unseasonably mild weather. The very first amphibians were helped to the pond on January 25. Since then there has been a steady trickle of activity with a few busy nights.  Our wonderful team of volunteers has expanded this year we have been  blessed with a large group of enthusiastic young people along with the less young.

As of 21st February 638 amphibians had been assisted on Woodhill Lane - the average for the last five years at this stage was 39! Of the 638, 526 were toads, 99 newts and 13 frogs. On Lord’s Hill 58 amphibians had been assisted, the average for the last three years at this stage being 1! Of these 50 were toads and the rest were frogs. This suggests a significant shift from the pattern of previous years which is assumed to be a weather related matter of timing rather than an increase in numbers.

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Now as we enter March many of the amphibians are ‘leavers' and we have to be careful to help them cross the road the way they want to go! A full report will be on our reports page at the end of the season.

 

Don't forget we are always more than happy to welcome more volunteers! 

235 species of Moths recorded in Shamley Green

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Box-tree moth

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Swallow-tailed moth

We now have John Portess' brilliant records of moths which he painstakingly identified in his garden in 2022 and 2023, and which have been submitted to the National Moth Database - see our brand new page 'Moths in Shamley Green' for more information and more photos.


The moths identified are generally inhabitants of meadows, grasslands, hedgerows, gardens and mature broadleaf woodlands. They are a mix of those that colonised after the last ice age and later immigrants right up to recently introduced pests such as the shimmering dark variant of the Box-tree Moth (caught 15/9/23). Form and colour vary widely, from  brightly coloured micros like Cydia amplana (caught 17/8/23) to the chunky Lime Hawk Moth (found in the garden 11/4/22) and the diaphanous Swallow-tailed moth that flies on tissue paper wings.
Autumn captures have contained a smattering of vagrants such as the Gypsy moth (caught 1/9/23) and the Vestal (caught 26/9/23).
Many common species have not appeared in the trap yet so plenty of new ones are expected in the coming years.

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Vestal moth

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Gypsy moth

Volunteers needed for our Toad Patrol! - Help Shamley Green's amphibians to get safely to their breeding ponds in the Spring

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A lucky toad sitting on the leather glove of a VOLUNTEER HELPER as he is safely delivered to his/her breeding pond

Now that the toad fence is in place, we are ready for the annual migration to begin.

NOW OUR TOADS NEED YOU AGAIN!

They are at their most vulnerable as they attempt to cross roads to get to their ponds to spawn and we can really help them with that.

This phase of our mission is dictated by the weather: the toads wait for mild, damp evenings to make their perilous journey so we can't give you dates! We keep in touch via WhatsApp to quickly mobilise helpers on damp spring evenings - if you are interested please contact us with your mobile number to join the WhatsApp group.

Not just toads in the bucket!

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Volunteers of all ages welcome!

WHAT EXACTLY DO WE DO?

Wearing high-vis jackets and using powerful torches we spot any amphibians near to or attempting to cross the road, pick them up (with gloves if you prefer), put them in a bucket, and take them safely to their pond - click here for a video showing our plucky toads, frogs and newts being helped to safety.

WHERE DO WE DO IT?

There are currently three known toad crossings in Shamley Green. One is in Woodhill Lane / Madgehole Lane. The second comprises the roads close to the village ponds and the third comprises the roads around Lords Hill Common and Norley Lane.

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