Severn Trent Water has stepped in to support a local wildlife charity and volunteers by donating vital funds towards an annual road closure in Oxton.

The road closure on Beanford Lane in Oxton is organised by local campaigner Margaret Cooper with support from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. When first secured back in 1999, it was believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, if not the world, and has since gone on to protect thousands of toads and their offspring.

The closure is needed to protect the toads which migrate in large numbers through a wetland area either side of the lane, many of which cross using the ford across the lane. Whilst volunteers, led by Mrs Cooper had previously organised patrols to help transfer toads across the road, this became difficult to sustain when the volunteers began patrolling a second crossing in the village,

Since 1999 Mrs Cooper and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have shared responsibility for raising funds to cover the costs of closing the road. Each year Margaret organises a popular coffee morning to supplement the funds but this year's event has, like countless others, been cancelled due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

Thankfully Severn Trent Water have come to the rescue this year with a donation of £500 meaning that just a further £300 needs to be raised to cover the costs.

Speaking about this year's toad season Mrs Cooper said: "This has been a strange springtime not only for us but also for the toads. We've had to disband eager toad patrollers such as the Scouts and conservation students because of the Coronavirus. However we're delighted we can continue to protect our Oxton toads."

Anyone wishing to make a donation towards the toad crossing costs can do so via www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org

Photo taken in 2019: (L-R) Erin McDaid, District Councillor Roger Jackson, County Councillor John Cottee, Fiona, Ben Driver, Mark, Rachel Rutherford, Margaret Cooper.

Published April 2020