Vulnerable amphibian species across south east London have been given a boost thanks to a habitat restoration project in Bexley.
Two sites in Bexley have been restored to provide stable and sustainable habitats for toads and other amphibians, as part of The Froglife Trust’s ‘London Tails of Amphibian Discovery’ (T.O.A.D.) project.
Enovert Community Trust provided grants totalling £80,000 towards the project which has seen sites at Foots Cray Meadow and Lesnes Abbey Woods significantly enhanced. 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.
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. The T.O.A.D. project aims to benefit the UK’s toad native species through a range of engagement and practical conservation activities.
Kathy Wormald, CEO of The Froglife Trust, said: “Toad numbers have declined by 68% over the past three decades, with London and the South East experiencing the highest rates of decline. The T.O.A.D. programme aims to create habitats were toads and other amphibians can flourish, and we are extremely pleased with the results at Foots Cray Meadows and Lesnes Abbey Woods.”
Angela Haymonds, Trust Secretary of Enovert Community Trust, said: "The Trustees were delighted to support this innovative project which will make an important contribution to protecting amphibians and hopefully support some local recovery in toad numbers in Bexley. 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.”