The recently completed 3 year study ‘Amphibians in Drains Project within Perth and Kinross, 2010 - 2013’ was undertaken as it had been identified that amphibians, mainly toads as well as frogs and newts and some other small mammals were becoming trapped in roadside gully pots. The study found nearly 70% of the gully pots surveyed contained wildlife.
All animals falling into gully pots will die from starvation/ cold weather or drowning as they are unable to get out. In the study area alone it was calculated that over 47,000 amphibians and mammals are trapped every year, a separate study run in Delft in the Netherlands concluded between 1 and 3 million animals die each year in gully pots. These statistics reveal the scale of the problem.
The issues are predominantly within a 500m – 1.5km radius of a breeding pond so it is significant for road projects involving gully pots and kerbs within this distance.
A pilot project was implemented to look at the most cost effective solution to the problem which involved the installation of the innovative ACO wildlife kerbs. Amphibians follow their natural instinct to follow the face of roadside kerbings and then become trapped when they fall into the gully pots. The ground breaking ACO Wildlife Kerb has been designed to reduce the number of deaths by incorporating a recess along the front at road height allowing the amphibians to follow that line instead and miss the gully grating. The project is continuing throughout 2013 and has already received positive results. It was awarded a Proggy Award from animal charity PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) recognising companies, people, and products for innovative and animal-friendly achievements.