Ten-year-old toad saver: For five years, Alex Jamie Perdue has been saving East Lothian's toads, newts and frogs

A young girl has been spent the last five years saving toads, frogs and newts in her local area and doesn’t plan stopping any time soon.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 8:13 pm
Alex Jamie Perdue aged 5 during her first year on a night toad patrol in East Linton (Photo: Dawn Perdue).
Alex Jamie Perdue aged 5 during her first year on a night toad patrol in East Linton (Photo: Dawn Perdue).

Every year for the past five years during the toad migration period between February and March schoolgirl Alex Jamie Perdue 10, has joined a toad-saving mission covering Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Volunteering for the Lothian Amphibian and Reptile Group’s (LARG) toad patrol, the young animal-lover has been called the group’s number one volunteer, and focuses on the East Linton area.

Alongside her parents, she saves the lives of countless toads and other amphibians in Binning Wood - five minutes away from where she lives.

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Alex Jamie Predue (Photo: Dawn Perdue).

Team leader Gary Hovell said with a small group of volunteers, LARG has saved around 2,500 toads in this migration period.

Going out in teams at night, volunteers such as Alex go out with buckets and torches to collect the toads to ensure they are not ‘smooshed’ by motorists, cyclists or pedestrians.

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The 10 year-old who is currently in primary six at East Linton Primary School said: “We go out at night time with torches and a bucket and we find toads, frogs and newts.

Alex Perdue says she enjoys hearing the toads and frogs singing in the bucket on their journey to the ponds (Photo: Dawn Perdue).

"We collect them in the bucket to stop them from getting hurt by cars and at the end of the night we put them into a pond which is nearby.

"I like putting them in the pond and saving them.”

Alex also enjoys hearing the amphibians have a sing-song in the bucket on their journey to the safety-promising ponds.

"The toads make high croaks and the frogs make low croaks and then the newts just don’t make any noise.” said Alex.

This year, Alex went on six toads patrols with her parents.

When asked how many toads she thinks she has saved, Alex said: “Quite a lot.”

Alex’s mum, Dawn Perdue, 45, who works as a care assistant said: “She was out maybe a couple of times a week so you are talking around 10 or 20 but some nights you get absolutely none.

"It’s quite good in Binning Wood as the farmer has built a pond at the bottom of his field so the toads and frogs now have two choices - they have one on the side of Binning Wood or they’ve got one that crosses the road to the other side- so it’s all starting to get more established.”

Alex is the youngest of three sisters and is keen to save all animals during her daily travels.

"I don’t really have a favourite animal, because I like them all,” said Alex.

Recently, a bee arrived on Alex’s front door during rainy weather and Alex sprang to action.

She said: "He got all wet from the rain so I gave him flowers and took him in and I put him in a pot and looked after him till he dried off.”

Until the next toad patrol, Alex says she will continue to save animals across Edinburgh.

"If any animal gets like wet or anything in our garden we would always help it,” said Alex.

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