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Aiming for the Green Cross Toad

PUBLISHED: 20:00 11 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:11 03 March 2010

PERHAPS inspired by their famous counterpart Mr Toad, Ipswich's very own army of toads has been living a charmed life of late.

While Mr Toad could always rely on the more sensible Mole and Badger to keep him out of trouble in the Wind in the Willows, Ipswich's toads could be given a £12,000 tunnel to help them cross the road safely.

By TRACEY SPARLING and MARK BULSTRODE

tracey.sparling@eveningstar.co.uk

mark.bulstrode@eveningstar.co.uk

PERHAPS inspired by their famous counterpart Mr Toad, Ipswich's very own army of toads has been living a charmed life of late.

While Mr Toad could always rely on the more sensible Mole and Badger to keep him out of trouble in the Wind in the Willows, Ipswich's toads could be given a £12,000 tunnel to help them cross the road safely.

The planned tunnel is designed to help the toads get across Cliff Lane, in the town.

Holywells Park and Landseer Park are breeding grounds and habitat for hundreds of toads and frogs – while the country's toad population is rapidly shrinking as ponds are filled in.

At least 50 a year were killed on the road as they tried to migrate to breeding grounds in Holywells Park.

To solve the problem a toad crossing evening patrol was set up by community group Friends of Holywells Park each spring, to help them migrate across the road safely.

The venture helped 400 amphibians last year, but required numerous volunteers with plenty of time on their hands.

But as they helped keep frogs and toads alive, people were risking their own safety on the road, especially after dark.

Julian Dowding, secretary of the group, said the patrol involved up to 16 people crossing Cliff Lane after dark and on wet evenings.

He said: "So far we have not had any problems with safety, but we know that it only takes one careless driver to cause a serious accident."

Now the group has asked Ipswich Borough Council to install a toad tunnel in Cliff Lane, from Landseer Park to Holywells Park. The tunnel plan also includes two new pram ramps next to park entrances.

A local developer has offered £2,000 and the council's community steering group will be recommended tomorrow to fund the remainder.

A previous plan to install a toad tunnel failed due to lack of funds.

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