Each year in Spring, amphibians across the Country begin their annual migration towards breeding ponds. This can be a treacherous journey for some, particularly if it involves crossing busy roads.
An estimated 20 tonnes of common toads are killed on roads in the UK each year¹. This is an astounding figure, and sadly, one that may even be under-estimated. In addition to the dangers of vehicles in roads, amphibians also have to navigate roadside gully pots, structures that act as unfortunate death traps for these animals.
Appropriate infrastructure design within new developments can hugely benefits the local amphibian populations in comparison to the traditional upright kerbs with gullypot systems.
Although there are retrofit solutions to the problem of amphibians caught in drains, the best and most sustainable solution is to design out the potential issues at an early stage of development planning.
Many developments now include Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) which aim to manage surface water-runoff in a way that mimics the natural flow of water. As well as reducing amphibian mortality in gully pots, these systems result in the creation of ponds and wetlands. This not only provides attractive amenity spaces for communities, but can be hugely beneficial to wildlife, particularly amphibians.
Native Ecology work closely with project engineers and designers to ensure that the incorporation of SUDS into a design scheme provides cost effective biodiversity enhancement.