Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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13 October 2015

Marians Pond Toad crossing

Grid Ref SO562118


This was a very unusual task for our team. The main A4136 road which passes through the forest also passes between an area of forest and a toad spawning pond which means that the toads can be squashed by the traffic when they migrate to and from the pond. The original toad barriers and tunnel under the road were installed over 20 years ago and had disintegrated into the undergrowth. We have new barriers to install on the 1st December but, today, we were digging the old barriers out and preparing the ground.






The team are busy digging out the old barriers. We had to have temporary traffic lights and cones to keep us safe from the traffic while we worked.

This is one of the toads we found





Roads and traffic can have major impacts on amphibian populations. This is particularly the case if they cut across annual migration routes between hibernation and breeding habitats. Underpasses can be installed to try to reduce mortality on the road. Unlike methods such as toad patrols and road closures, which tend to target breeding adults, tunnels could help reduce deaths of dispersing juveniles.tunnels are usually associated with barrier walls that prevent amphibians reaching the road and direct them towards tunnels.





This is Marians Pond which is on the opposite side of the road from the migratory route of the toads. The pond is very peaceful and had half a dozen mallards swimming around as well as a large clump of large leaved water lily plants.

Mallards Pike/Moseley Green

Grid Ref SO637088


On the same day a smaller group went out to prepare the ground at Moseley Green for planting to benefit the butterflies.

They were working in the rough grassland with the aim being to cut and rake off patches of the coarse grasses in the wetter area before seeding






Seeding in the drier section needed to be made by loosening soil - made somewhat easier by the local boar activity!






Previous clearing and seeding work has been done and the scrapes were examined to look for successful colonisation and then to show us where to rake so we could seed the bare patches





Orange Peel Fungus ( Aleuria aurantia

The team were all amazed by the vivid orange colour and complex structure of the Orange Peel Fungus ( Aleuria aurantia )  that is sprouting up on the banks at Moseley Green

It was the beauty of this mushroom that attracted Christiaan Hendrik Persoon (1755-1837) to study fungi. He is now regarded as the father of systematic mycology. It survives by decomposing dead and decaying organic matter in the soil. One of the ‘cup fungi’ that produce their spores on the upper surface (inside the cup) and release them into the air currents

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