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Smooth snake in West Dorset?

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stevespear View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 Sep 2004 at 12:39am
David,

Please accept my apologies. I can see that my previous posting could give the impression that the sand lizard was in the same area, I'm afraid this is not so. I saw the sand lizard when working as a National Trust volunteer at a property near Wotton under Edge in Gloucestershire. Though there were no heathlands or areas of sand there that I know of. Just a large garden and sheep pasture. In old drystone walls like that you get a very great deal of grit and dirt inside due to weathering and frost, could that provide a suitable environment for sand lizards to breed?

regards, Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevespear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 2004 at 11:47am
David,

Thank you, for your reply. I would certainly like to get a photo of the snake, (I have a good digital camera) and will try to do so. I will try your idea of providing a shelter to attract it as my son found it in the first place by turning over a large flat stone, so it might work. It is encouraging that smooth snakes can be found in gardens and have been reported in West Dorset, as I would very much like to have such a rare creature in my garden. A few years back I found a sand lizard, (a lovely bright green), when rebuilding an old dry stone wall, so another rare reptile would be great.
steve in dorset
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevespear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2004 at 8:22am
I live just outside Bridport in Dorset in a semi-rural area. We have a large untidy garden, (rough grass, some lawn, trees, stone walls, hedgrows, shrubs, lots of bramble and nettles etc.)which lies on a south facing slope. The garden has a healthy population of widlife, from birds and visiting foxes,insects and amphibians, to reptiles. No grass snakes but lots of slow worms. We also have toads and frogs but no pond. My son, who is eight, has the usual interest in things he finds in the garden, but no detailed knowledge. The other day we were both out in the garden when he called me, in great excitement, to come and see a snake he had found. I was too slow crossing the garden and just missed seeing it's tail disappear into the soil, so I asked him to describe it to me, assuming it was a slow worm, though he knows what they look like. He said it wasn't a slow worm, he had seen it's forked tongue flicking out. He said it was quite small, (8 to 10 inches), slender and pinky red in colour. He then said it had two black lines running down it's back, but they weren't continous lines, they were broken by small gaps into sort of dashes, like the lines on a road. He said it definately didn't have legs, it was a snake and it escaped by going into the ground. We had a bit of a look to see if we could find it, but no luck. When I looked it up, the only thing I could match his sighting to was the smooth snake. So my question is. Is it possible to find a smooth snake in such a situation? Our garden is wild, but it's not a heathland. We back onto and ly alongside a considrable area of large back gardens but most are more tidy than ours, though there are a lot of old walls and hedges and scrap ground on the boundaries.      
steve in dorset
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