Jersey gardeners in grass snake search

Jersey grass snake Grass snakes are normally olive green or brown with a cream collar and female snakes can grow to 3ft

Related Stories

A scientist studying Jersey's rare grass snake is urging islanders to help protect the species.

Rob Ward, a PhD student at the University of Kent, says gardeners should delay turning compost heaps until October.

Female grass snakes lay 10-40 white leathery eggs of 25-30mm in June or July, and hatchlings emerge from August till September.

The harmless reptile is Jersey's only snake, but faces extinction locally.

Start Quote

We're asking people not to disturb or turn their compost heaps until October when any eggs should have hatched”

End Quote Rob Ward University of Kent
Preventing extinction

Funded by the States Department for the Environment, Mr Ward is researching ways to save the snake.

He said the creature relies on warm, humid environments, such as those found in compost and manure heaps, to incubate eggs.

Protecting these nesting habitats is an important step in preventing extinction, he said.

"Compost and manure heaps are an incredibly valuable feature in gardens and natural areas for many species, especially so for grass snakes at this time of year.

"We're asking people not to disturb or turn their compost heaps until October when any eggs should have hatched.

"We'll also be checking a number of compost heaps for eggshells in early October, and would appreciate the public getting in touch if they find any eggshells in their heaps, or suspect that grass snakes may have been using their compost or manure heaps."

The environment department has launched a campaign asking anyone who spots a grass snake to report it on its website.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Jersey

Weather

St Helier

Min. Night 12 °C

Features

  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?


  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900-year-story behind the creation of a UK parliament


  • Beer and alcoholAbstinence wars

    The struggle to claim the month of October


  • Image of Ankor Wat using lidarJungle Atlantis

    How lasers have revealed an ancient city beneath the forest


  • Tesco signBest before?

    Has Tesco passed its sell-by date, asks Richard Anderson


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.