British grass snake and its habitat.

British grass snake
British grass snake


Our largest snake, the grass snake, is particularly fond of wetland habitats, but can also be found in dry grasslands and in gardens, especially those with a pond nearby. During the summer, grass snake can be spotted basking in the sun near their favourite ponds or swimming in the water.

They hunt amphibians, fish, small mammals and birds. Females lay 10 to 40 eggs in rotting vegetation, such as compost heaps, incubating them until they hatch in early Autumn. Like all reptiles, grass snake hibernate, usually from October to April.

The British population of grass snake belongs to the distinct subspecies Natrix natrix helvetica, but new research published in August 2017 proposed that it should be elevated to full species status, with the name barred grass snake, Natrix helvetica.

How to identify

The grass snake is usually greenish in colour, with a yellow and black collar, pale belly, and dark markings down the sides. Females are bigger than males.



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