Portishead Branch Line – MetroWest Phase 1

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Portishead Branch Line - MetroWest Phase 1

Received 25 February 2020
From Elizabeth Milner


Over the last 10 years I have helped with migrating toads as part of Pill Toad Patrol, in an area adjacent to the M5 Avonmouth Bridge. They travel to the ponds near the bridge in early spring every year, crossing the land on Lodway Farm nearby (that is I believe now under threat from development into a storage compound for the railway works) and their final obstacle before they can reach the ponds is the high-kerbed, concrete surfaced cycle path that provides access to the foot/cycleway across the bridge. It’s at this location that we assist the toads towards their destination as they are often thwarted by the height of the kerb, or fall through the drain covers set into the roadway. The ponds they are aiming for are only a few meters from here so lifting them off the road or out of the drains and placing them on the edge of the field where the ponds are sited, gives them a better chance of reaching their destination. In 45 minutes on just one night recently over 200 toads were escorted across this hazardous pathway, similar numbers are being recorded each night in damp weather over several weeks. It’s a very important breeding site. I understand it’s this same cycleway that is the proposed route for HGVs to access the storage compound. This will have devastating impact on the toad (and other amphibian, there are also frogs and newts) population. I sincerely hope that some form of mitigation will be put in place for this important wildlife location.