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'A Winter Casualty'

Grass snake 2 - Copy

Like all reptiles, grass snakes hibernate, ordinarily between October and April.

Regrettably, our photograph shows 'a winter casualty' spotted locally.

The Sandstone Ridge boasts a variety of managed habitats that are attractive to Britain's native reptiles and amphibians. Sharp-eyed and patient walkers may be lucky enough to spot common lizards, grass snakes, adders, slowworms, frogs and toads.

The grass snake, our largest snake, is particularly fond of wetland habitats, but can also be found in dry grasslands and in gardens, especially those with a pond nearby.

Grass snakes hunt amphibians, fish, small mammals and birds.

Females lay 10 to 40 eggs in rotting vegetation, such as compost heaps, incubating them until they hatch in early Autumn.

The grass snake is usually greenish in colour, with a yellow and black collar, pale belly, and dark markings down the sides. Females are bigger than males.

Grass snakes are widespread in England and Wales, but absent from Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isles of Scilly and most of the Channel Islands.