Madingley is the home to a large colony of common toads. For most of the year they live on land, in woods, hedgerows and gardens where they perform a valuable service consuming quantities of slugs and other pests. The picturesque grounds of Madingley Hall, designed by Capability Brown include two lakes that have been used for breeding by generations of toads for as long as anyone can remember.
Unlike frogs, toads are usually faithful to traditional breeding sites, making themselves vulnerable to change and slow to colonise new sites.
Sadly the toads of Madingley are facing a growing threat from the ever increasing amount of road traffic they encounter as they make their way to and from the lakes. This is made worse because the peak in toad activity coincides with the rush hour traffic.
In response to this danger Madingley Toad Rescue was started in 1988. Our aims are to minimise the formerly very large numbers of amphibian road casualties at this important traditional breeding site, and in doing so provide an enjoyable and educational activity for local families. Children are particularly enthusiastic about participating in this project
We are active in the field from early February through to the conclusion of the Spring migration. New volunteers are always welcome.