What's That Snake?

Grass Snake (credit: Margaret Holland)Grass Snake (credit: Margaret Holland)

With a donation of nearly £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, What's That Snake was a collaborative project between Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and the Herefordshire Amphibian and Reptile Team (HART), which ran for 2 years. It provided the public with an exciting opportunity to learn about and observe Herefordshire's reptiles.

Snakes can cause either complete fascination or total fear and loathing, even amongst 'wildlife lovers'. People have a genuine problem correctly identifying, understanding and appreciating snakes. Even slow-worms, a legless lizard, prove difficult to identify and are regularly mistaken for adders.

Common (viviparous) lizard (credit: Charlesjsharp - Wikimedia)The Amphibian and Reptile Atlas, produced by HART in 2006, revealed a disturbing lack of reptile records, particularly for adders and viviparous lizards. With the correct training in identification and survey knowledge, volunteers of all ages were inspired to appreciate, locate and record these fascinating and secretive creatures. This involved surveying at 10 locations throughout the county. Verified records were submitted to the Herefordshire Biological Records Centre.

The project also visited 40 schools, providing illustrated identification posters, worksheets and interactive DVDs, creating wildlife interest in future generations. Community roadshows also took place to keep the public informed of the project's activities.

Reptile leaflets

Two leaflets are available from Lower House Farm: 'A guide to the reptiles of Herefordshire' and ' Reptile habitat management: Guidelines for landowners'. Alternatively, you can download pdf versions of these leaflets by clicking on the links below: