Common toads are classified as a biodiversity priority species under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act because of recent declines. Common toads are no longer common because of loss of the habitats where they live, particularly the removal of ponds and drainage of wet areas of land. As green areas become more fragmented and we build more roads, more toads are being killed by traffic as they migrate to and from their breeding ponds. It is difficult to accurately assess toad populations, but in Wanstead people are saying that they now come
across them less frequently in their gardens.
HOW TO HELP
Create habitats in your garden where toads can live and feed, like a long grass area or piles of old wood or leaves in a shady location. Have an open compost heap for vegetable peelings and garden waste.
Build a wildlife pond – find out how.
Help insects and mini-beasts thrive in your garden – that means one thing, lots of foliage. Large areas of paving for drives and patios are disastrous for city invertebrates and wildlife more generally – dig some of it up or cover it with planters to re-green your plot. Ground-dwelling insects, such as beetles, generally benefit from dense vegetation, including evergreens. Other great habitats for mini-beasts are long-grass areas, mini wildflower meadows, leaf and log piles and bug hotels.
Never use slug pellets, pesticides or weedkillers in your garden. Instead, aim to attract lots of different wildlife to keep things in balance, using biological pest control if necessary. Lobby the council to stop spraying pesticides around our streets.