VOLUNTEERS with the Smallbrook Toad Patrol have saved 2,429 toads, frogs and newts from being squashed by traffic using the streets and roads around the Smallbrook Reserve in Warminster.

The patrol has been out protecting amphibians, mainly on Smallbrook Road, Lower Marsh Road and Henfords Marsh.

Going out several nights a week, they counted a total of 4,966 toads, frogs and newts.

Spokeswoman Clare Hancock said: "The toad patrollers are very pleased that the Warminster Area Board have approved a speed limit reduction to 30mph along Smallbrook Road.

"They hope that further measures will follow on from this to try to limit the deaths from traffic using Smallbrook Road as a ‘rat run’ during the amphibian breeding and dispersal seasons."

The volunteers, mostly made up from Sustainable Warminster members, recorded the spring migrations from mid-February to mid-March.

They also recorded the summer dispersal from the breeding ponds in and around Smallbrook Nature Reserve from early June to early November.

Mrs Hancock added: "On these three roads alone they recorded 392 toads, 38 frogs and 21 newts in the spring.

"Twenty-eight per cent of these vulnerable creatures were killed by cars at night because they like the warm road surface and find it easy to walk along.

"In the summer, 2,642 toads, 32 frogs and 373 newts were recorded on these roads. Up to 1,040 dead amphibians were found, making 34 per cent of the total.

"Over 800 toads used Wheeler’s Lane as a spring migration route to the big breeding pond in the reserve."