A 'HOPPER' bus will take Keighley nature lovers to an event aimed at protecting toads across the county.

Keighley Big Local is arranging a minibus to take Toad Patrol members from Leeming and Riddlesden to the West Yorkshire Toad Summit.

The Toad Patrols are volunteers who help get amphibians across roads safely on their way to nearby stretches of water.

The Toad Summit is being organised by wildlife conservation charity Froglife, along with Calderdale Council, Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK and Halifax Scientific Society, on Saturday January 25 at North Bridge Leisure Centre in Halifax.

It is open to the public.

The organisations believe it is important to bring toads to the forefront of conservation efforts, after research by Froglife and the University of Zurich concluded that the UK’s common toads have declined by 68% over a 30-year period.

The afternoon’s talks will be delivered by a variety of speakers ranging from academic to community-focused discussions, including talks from Angela Julian, coordinator of Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK and Steve Blacksmith, recorder for amphibians and reptiles and representative of Halifax Scientific Society.

The yayor of Calderdale, Cllr Dot Foster, will open the event and local toad patrol managers will be speaking to share their insight and ideas.

Along with the talks, this summit will give attendees a chance to see the ongoing work that Froglife are doing across the UK, including the ‘Toads on Roads’ project, and network with other keen conservationists.

Froglife’s CEO, Kathy Wormald said: “I am delighted that Froglife is able to host a summit in Halifax. This follows the amazing success of our national summit in 2018 and mini-summit hosted in Bath in 2019.

"I am confident that this one will be equally as successful. It is great to be able to support toad patrols in this way.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said:

“Our Countryside and Woodlands team and local volunteers work hard to protect Calderdale’s toad population, this includes efforts to keep them safe as they move back to their breeding ponds in spring each year.

“I’m pleased that officers from the Council will highlight Calderdale’s conservation efforts as part of this important regional event.”

Visit froglife.org/events to book free tickets for the Toad Summit.