Road users in Ham are being warned to take extra care on Church Road in the coming weeks amid the annual migration of toads in the area.

On Monday (February 15), Richmond Council warned residents to look out for the toads and said it had erected new signs to help avoid any accidents.

In addition, a "small section" of Church Road will be closed by the council between March 8 and March 27 to help toads make their 100 metre journeys across the road and back to their "habitat pools" for three weeks of spawning.

Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee Cllr Julia Neden-Watts described the annual migration as "wonderful" in a statement released by the council:

"The annual toad migration is a wonderful natural spectacle on our doorstep which takes place at around this time every year.

"The migration is driven by the change in weather as the toads like warm, wet conditions," she said.

"It is difficult for us to predict exact dates of the toad’s movements, but this year with many of us staying at home to stay safe we hope that the migration will have minimal impact and we will do our best to avoid any unnecessary inconvenience for residents.

"I would like to thank residents in the area for their understanding and ongoing support of the diverse wildlife we have in this borough," she added.

Richmond Council quoted information that suggested "over 100,000 toads" annually are helped across roads by volunteers throughout the UK and the number of volunteer "toad patrols" has doubled since 2009.

To that end, small fencing was installed along the edge of the common near Church Road "to enable the toad patrol patrollers to pick the animals up and help them over the highway to complete their onward journey" the council said.