Help needed to look after toads

SPRING is in the air and it is the time of year when Historic Scotland Rangers are asking volunteers to leap into action and assist with the annual toad migration in Edinburgh.

Early every morning Rangers carry out patrols to check the nooks, crannies and drains to ensure every toad gets to its destination safely.

The annual ‘Watch Out, Toads About’ event will be taking place on Sunday, April 1, Saturday, April 7, and Sunday, April 8.

Katy Firth, a Ranger with the Historic Scotland Ranger Service at Holyrood Park, said: “In winter the toads live around Arthur’s Seat and Dunsapie Loch. In order to get to where they spawn, they have to cross a public road with high kerbs. The problem is that when they are tired and hungry they can become disoriented and unable to make that last leap to safety.

“We need volunteers to help these amazing creatures cross the road safely.”

To celebrate the annual toad crossing, there will also be an exhibition called ‘We Love Toads’ with prints and paintings by Emma Herman-Smith.

The exhibition is free and is being held in the Holyrood Park Information Centre on Horse Wynd from March 25 to April 15, from 08.30 am to 5.15pm.

As part of this exhibition, for one weekend only on Saturday, April 7, and Sunday, April 8, there will also be repeated screenings of a short film about the early morning toad patrols.

Volunteers who would like to assist the Rangers with the Toad Patrols should email hsrangers@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or call 0131 652 8150 for further information.