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Mini Dr Dolittle saves over 100 toads from being squashed on the road

Kieran Walpole, 10, has be true to his word and has been out rescuing toads again this year with his family, including his eight-year-old sister. Molly. Picture: DONNA WALPOLE

Kieran Walpole, 10, has be true to his word and has been out rescuing toads again this year with his family, including his eight-year-old sister. Molly. Picture: DONNA WALPOLE

Archant

This time last year, a primary school pupil from north Norfolk pledged to help protect the county's toad population.

Armed with nothing but a plastic bin, and a heart full of determination, Kieran Walpole recused dozens of the amphibians from certain death near to his home in Fulmodeston, near Fakenham.

Now aged 10, the boy dubbed “mini Dr Dolittle” by his family has been out on a rescue mission once again, this time saving more than a hundred of the four-legged, bumpy-skinned creatures.

And his eight-year-old sister, Molly, also joined in, explained mum Donna.

Mrs Walpole, 34, of Stibbard Road, said: “If we’re driving down the road in the evening when it’s starting to get dark, Kieran tells us to slow right down before we reach the stretch of road where the toads typically are as he doesn’t want any to get squashed.

Kieran Walpole, 10, has be true to his word and has been out rescuing toads again this year with his family. Pictured are some of the toads he rescued in 2018. Picture: DONNA WALPOLEKieran Walpole, 10, has be true to his word and has been out rescuing toads again this year with his family. Pictured are some of the toads he rescued in 2018. Picture: DONNA WALPOLE

“He is constantly on the look out for a toad in need of help.

“And true to Kieran’s word, he and his younger sister Molly have been out on a toad rescue mission again this year.”

As well as dad Mark, other members of the family have also been enlisted to help.

Grandparents Dave and Linda Peacock were coaxed into lending a hand after being briefed about the mission over the weekend.

“Their grandparents didn’t think they’d be collecting toads as part of their babysitting duties,” Mrs Walpole joked.

The animal-loving siblings carried out the toad rescue mission on Saturday March 2 and Sunday March 3 and together they collected 124 toads and five frogs before safely transporting them to a nearby pond.

Since Kieran’s rescue missions, he has become one of 12 nature enthusiasts to join Pensthorpe Natural Park’s Junior Board which was set up to offer young people the chance to share their opinions and help influence its future developments.

- It is estimated that 20 tonnes of toads are killed on UK roads each year and is the main cause of their decline. Toadwatch is a voluntary organisation and is looking for new volunteers to play a part in preventing the possible extinction of the species. Visit toadwatch.org to find out more about patrols in Norfolk.

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