Volunteers in Furness are being sought to help record the numbers of rare natterjack toads on Cumbria’s coast.

Smaller than the common toad, the natterjack toad is very rare, found in only around 60 places in the UK, among which is the Duddon Estuary.

Dynamic Dunescapes, who are working hard to restore sand dunes across Cumbria, have teamed up with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) to increase understanding of these rare sand-dune dwellers.

The organisation is seeking new, long-term, dedicated volunteers to undertake surveys in spring and summer to help ARC to monitor and conserve one of the rarest amphibians in the UK.

Eve Mulholland, Dynamic Dunescapes engagement officer with Cumbria Wildlife Trust, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for people to get involved with helping this popular but threatened species.

"With this recording project, we’re looking for volunteers to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the national natterjack toad survey, recording numbers of natterjack toads in a variety of locations, including the Duddon Estuary between Walney Island and Foxfield Station, the Millom area, Drigg, Mawbray and Silloth.

"The volunteer recorders on this project will play a key role in helping us track changes in natterjack toad populations, so that we can save precious habitat and make sure it is managed in a way that helps them to thrive."

Yvette Martin, amphibian conservation officer with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, said: “It is great to have the support of Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Dynamic Dunescapes to recruit new volunteers to make sure Cumbrian sites are well represented in the national survey in 2021.

"Cumbria is one of England’s strongholds for natterjack toads and with around 23 sites to cover, ARC could not collect the data we need without volunteer support."

To apply, visit: www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/volunteering-opportunities/natterjack-toad-recorders.