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Plans for multi-million-pound sea defences in Rhyl include eco zone for natterjack toads

08 Apr 2022 3 minute read
A male Natterjack Toad calling. Photo by berniedup is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

Denbighshire County Council has applied for permission to construct new multi-million-pound sea defences in Rhyl, which includes proposed work on the seafront and prom.

But the planning application also seeks permission for an ecological area to promote the habitat of Natterjack Toads –The UK’s loudest amphibian!

The rare toads are typically found in sand dunes and saltmarshes around coastal areas, breeding in shallow pools of water. Natterjack toads are smaller than common toads, are a protected species, and can be identified by a yellow stripe on their back.

But the Wildlife Trust describes the call of the female natterjack as ‘phenomenal’. Males make a rasping sound during mating season.

The proposed area of ecological mitigation at Barkby Beach is part of a ‘buffer’ zone between the sea and promenade, which will include a wildflower meadow, sand dunes, and a pilot area for the toads. Fencing and disabled access are included in the application.

New coastal protection plans in Rhyl include a ecological area and habitat for natterjack toads, shaded in purple.

If the planning application gets the go-ahead, the promenade will be raised by a minimum of 1.5m in places and widened by as much as 10.1m.

The council also wants to incorporate a new sea wall as well as repair works, engineering operations, and ‘scour’ protection to the existing sea wall. Scour protection involves boulders being placed at the base of the existing coastal defences to bolster the structures over a distance of 1.45km between Splash Point and the SeaQuarium.

The plans also include proposals for new concrete revetments, raising and widening the promenade, including new and amended access points. Denbighshire County Council also hopes to construct a new 750m concrete, stepped revetment from the SeaQuarium to opposite Drift Park, as well as new flood gates for access points through the new sea defence walls between the SeaQuarium and opposite Drift Park.

The application will be determined by members of Denbighshire’s planning committee at a future meeting following the forthcoming election.

Natterjack toad facts 

  • Natterjack toads are more olive green, as opposed to brown or brownish-green like the common toad.
  • Natterjack toads can be identified by the yellow stripe on its back.
  • Natterjack toads are also known as the ‘running toad’ as they run, rather than hop.
  • On warm spring nights, male natterjack toads make a rasping call to mate, which can be heard one mile away.
  • Natterjack toads are rare and are a protected species in British law.

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Robert Lloyd
Robert Lloyd
4 months ago

That’s Prestatyn.

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