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Smooth Snake

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Smooth Snake
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Coronella austriaca
Printed Date: 03 Jul 2020 at 11:26am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Smooth Snake
Posted By: Tommy
Subject: Smooth Snake
Date Posted: 26 May 2013 at 6:27pm
Help. My wife and me were working in the garden today and saw what we think is a Smooth Snake it was about 18 inches long with - what we thought - was a yellow diamond on the back of its head.   My dog was going crazy trying to get at it.   I really don't want it in my garden and registering on this site was the only way to get a message across.   In fact all I want to do is carry on gardening.   Please advise. I live in Suffolk.


Posted By: Iowarth
Date Posted: 26 May 2013 at 8:38pm
Hi there
Certainly not a Smooth Snake in Suffolk. The yellow "diamond" is probably the well know yellow "collar" of a Grass Snake. But why do you not want this totally harmless animal in your garden?

Since, clearly, you live in an area where these animals are found then all you can do is attempt to make your garden as un-wildlife friendly as possible. Generally by ensuring there is little vegetative cover for them, no compost heap and no pond. The dog itself should prove a good deterrent, since Grass Snakes are quite shy retiring animals, and the dog will come to no harm. Indeed, even just carrying on gardening will be something of a deterrent.

What you cannot do is anything to the animal directly. Capturing and moving is unlikely to be effective as Grass Snakes can and do travel considerable distances. There are some ill-educated extremists who would suggest killing it - but this is not only undesirable but also illegal.


Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)

Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 26 May 2013 at 9:56pm
Wish i had a grass snake in my garden, i think the whole point of a garden is to see what wildlife you can attract to it, if it looks nice too well that is a bonus!

The snake will not do you any harm at all so why not just let it live where it likes, I know many people are squeemish about snakes but certainly in the case of a Grass Snake they are a lot more decorative than dangerous...

Posted By: Tommy
Date Posted: 27 May 2013 at 9:42am
Thanks for both of your replies. I live fairly close to the woods, so I suppose it has wandered in.   I have absolutely no intention of harming it, hence - if you think about it - the reason for asking for advice.   What I don't want is the dog causing it harm, she's a young Hungarian Viszla who is very playful and quite likely to paw it, after all she has the run of the garden, and is, by nature a hunter.    


Posted By: Tommy
Date Posted: 27 May 2013 at 9:44am
Incidentally the yellow diamond is a very bright yellow. Tommy


Posted By: Tommy
Date Posted: 28 May 2013 at 9:24am
Hello Folks,
I received an extremely positive reply from Ginger.   So, as the only reason for registering on this site was to ensure that the dog, my wife and the snake could all live happily together, I'd like to thank you all for having me.
Regards, Tommy


Posted By: AGILIS
Date Posted: 29 May 2013 at 8:18am
Hi|Tommy yes 100 harmless grassie by description ( ps Smoothsnakes only live in southern counties like Surrey Hants and dorset areas. also do you live near a river or lake or wetland area as there will be lots more in the area I also Live in Suffolk Sudbury where abouts you Keith


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