Preston’s new toad reserve will be closed to the public

Photo Neil Cross'The Homes and Community Agency has come forward with plans for 300 new homes, shops and a link road on the chunk of green land between Eastway and Durton Lane, 20 years after it was first earmarked for development.

Photo Neil Cross'The Homes and Community Agency has come forward with plans for 300 new homes, shops and a link road on the chunk of green land between Eastway and Durton Lane, 20 years after it was first earmarked for development.

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  • New amphibian reserve will be fenced off to keep public out
  • Ten-acre site will be haven for toads and newts
  • New housing planned for surrounding area
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NATURE lovers are to be banned from a new amphibian reserve in Preston to allow toads and newts a bit of privacy.

Developers building a special site with ponds and landscaping mounds to re-home creatures from land earmarked for housing will be fencing it off to keep the wildlife in and the public out.

We can’t just ignore amphibians.

Plans for the new reserve were passed by Preston councillors this week. And it was revealed the site in Fulwood will not just be a haven for amphibians which currently live on the opposite side of Eastway, it will be key to thousands of other houses being planned for the north of the city.

“This is beneficial to Preston because it helps open up the rest of the developments,” explained Coun Brian Rollo, chairman of the planning committee. “We can’t just ignore amphibians.”

The first inhabitants of the new 10-acre “Toad Hall” between Eastway and Longfield will come from land on the other side of the road before that becomes a vast housing estate bordered by D’Urton Lane. But wildlife threatened by other developments earmarked for the north of Preston over the next few years will accommodated there too.

“This site will not have any public access,” said a council spokesman. “It is just an ecology habitat. It won’t create a park for the general public.

“There has to be a replacement habitat in order for that development to the north of Eastway to come forward – and other developments in north Preston. So this has been put forward as a single large scale habitat instead of a number of small ones.”

The amphibian population on the development site between Eastway and D’Urton Lane will be collected from established ponds and transported across the road to the new purpose-built reserve. The re-homing will also include toad tadpoles and toadspawn.

A total of 216 adult toads were counted on the housing site in a survey last spring. But a spokesman said non-breeding, immature toads were not counted, so the total toad population on the site could be two to three times that figure. The new habitat will be created this spring and a special fence erected to prevent the toads attempting to cross a busy road to return to their former home.