Migrating toads in Newton Valence are being given official protection by Hampshire County Council for the first time.

The authority is allowing toad patrollers to close the main road through the village from 6pm to 10pm each day during the migration, which starts after St Valentine’s Day and continues for several weeks afterwards.

A spokesperson said: “Every year hundreds of toads make their way along Hullam Lane to their ancient breeding pond in the village of Newton Valence. Without the road closure, many toad lives are lost on the road. The weather is warming up and we are expecting toads to start their migration imminently.”