Written by Kaitlin Oliver: Transforming Lives Trainee
While the August sun gets hot and animals start looking for shaded areas to rest, a certain reptile is looking to take advantage of the summer rays.
Grass snakes, while rather shy, can be found basking on rocks or riverbanks. They do this to regulate their body temperature as they are unable to do this themselves. If the sun gets too hot, they will go and seek shelter in hedgerows or even take a dip in rivers and ponds. Grass snakes are surprisingly good swimmers!
They primarily feed on amphibians as well as small fish and occasionally small mammals.
The summer months are crucial for grass snakes to find mates and reproduce. Males are actively searching for females to perform their courtship rituals. After successful mating, the females seek out warm and sheltered areas to lay their eggs. During June and July, females lay eggs in compost heaps and rotting vegetation as it acts as an incubator for the eggs to develop. Watch out this time of year as there may be some juveniles around already!
Fun fact: Grass snakes are the only snake in the UK that lays eggs.