How to rescue toads in a hole
Nicholas Schoon finds sewage workers saving thousands of amorous amphibians
Monday 16 March 1998
Several very small under-road tunnels have been built around the country so they can head towards their mating and spawning grounds safely.
But they face another peril; huge numbers of them get washed down the drains whenever there is heavy rain. There has been plenty of that this March.
At Severn Trent's Netherbridge treatment works near Gloucester, sympathetic sewage workers have set up a rescue patrol for amphibians which have fetched up in the settlement tanks there after a long, underground journey.
The smooth, vertical walls of the tanks stop the creatures from escaping.
They face certain death when they are moved on to the next stage of sewage processing.
So the human volunteers cycle round the large works beside the River Severn, looking for victims.
Then they scoop the amphibians out of the tanks and take them to a wetland conservation area on site.
Eventually they are released in the surrounding countryside. Netheridge's manager, Derrick Sorrell, says that more than 2,000 are thus saved in a year.
t Frog numbers are currently declining in over 140 countries
t Drought is the single biggest influence on frog numbers, as they lay their eggs and develop their young in water.
t Frog secretions may hold the key to curing ailments from stomach ache to schizophrenia. A painkiller 200 times as strong as morphine has been found in frog skin.
t Frog bones form a new ring every year when the frog is hibernating.
t Some frogs can survive well below freezing. The grey tree frog can survive even though its heart stops, by making its own body antifreeze.
t Frogs can jump up to 20 times their own body length in a single leap. The South American sharp-nosed frog has the world record - 10.3m.
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 6 review: bigger, thinner, faster, brighter - Apple proves you can make the best better
iPhone 6 Plus review: more like a small iPad that makes calls - but perfect for some
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
New urine test could replace invasive smear tests
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
- 1 iPhone 6 review: bigger, thinner, faster, brighter - Apple proves you can make the best better
- 2 Sports Direct security guard allegedly banned Jewish schoolboys and told them: 'No Jews, no Jews'
- 3 Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
- 4 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
- 5 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time: 'That was the lowest I'd ever felt'
£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: English teachers for day to day cover,...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 6 Teacher RequiredThis teaching...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's ...