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Grass Snake (Natrix Natrix)

Grass Snake Texture

New Forest National Park, Hampshire, UK.

Grass Snakes were very common where I lived when I was a young boy, even keeping them in fish tanks in my bedroom for short periods of time which sounds cruel now. It would always upset me when people would kill this harmless snake. I still remember when I was very young, a group of boys knocking on our front door showing a dead snake they had killed. They insisted it was an adder snake, not that is any excuse but clearly, it was a large harmless grass snake. Its injuries shocked me as the unfortunate snake had been stabbed to death with sticks, so it would have suffered before it died. I like to think now with a better education in schools and from conservation groups that kids are more aware of how important wildlife is and for future generations to enjoy.

Sadly all the local places where I found Grass Snakes have mostly been built on, a few places have been kept as nature reserves although some of these reserves are small they are very important especially to are British reptiles and Amphibians that the Grass Snake mainly feed.
I still know how to find Grass Snakes in the wild, they can be found on stream banks sunbathing, or not far from ponds as they are a water snake. I have seen as many as five snakes sunbathing on a bank about 100 yards from a local quarry curled up sunning themselves and with a pile of manure on the other side on an edge of a field, which would probably be ideal for the females to lay their eggs. Grass Snakes are now a protected species which give them the protection they deserve. If you do capture one it will at first hiss loudly and secrete a very potent smelling liquid all over your hands and clothes. Its a smell you will never forget and then you will be followed by flies for the rest of the day. Grass snakes are also very good at playing dead for a long time with mouth open and tongue out. I would recommend visiting the New Forest Reptile Centre in the New Forest, where you can see all our British Reptiles.
When filming in the New Forest I often find the ghost like skins of Grass Snakes winding through the undergrowth that the snake has shed.
They are a fascinating animal and my favourite British Snake.

Grass Snake Faking Death