My essay ‘Crossings’, based on the Spring migrations of the common toad bufo bufo, was well received this winter, being short-listed in both the Future Places Environmental Essay Prize (UK) and the Van der Mey Prize for Non-Fiction (USA).

I was especially pleased that the subject matter found favour with the judges and I’m always happy to raise awareness around the plight of the millions of toads who make the very perilous journey back to their natal ponds each Spring, facing a whole host of issues ranging from multiple predators through to open grids, pond loss and having to cross human roads built over their ancestral routes. It’s no wonder that common toads have declined by a staggering 68% in the past three decades – meaning that they’re not so common any more.

Here in Cheshire I set up Smallwood Toad Patrols four years ago and we now have over 50 volunteers helping local toads cross safely to breed.

You can read ‘Crossings’ here in the Future Places digital anthology.

If you’re in the UK and would like to find your nearest patrolled toad crossing, you can search by postcode on Froglife’s website.