Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

Scientific name: Natrix natrix

Grass Snake

The common hawker is a large hawker dragonfly which is on the wing from the end of June through to October. It is a species found mainly in the uplands of the north and west, particularly moorland pools and lakes as well as garden ponds. Hawkers are the largest and fastest flying dragonflies; they catch their insect-prey mid-air and can hover or fly backwards.

Where to find Grass Snakes?

There are a variety of suitable places in gardens which you could find grass snakes. Compost heaps are often used as egg laying grounds due to their warmth which acts as a natural incubator. Garden ponds are used as foraging grounds for their food, as are any streams or ditches that may run through or close to your garden. Banks, mounds and rubble piles are used as areas to bask in, and they can also act as hibernation sites. Areas of short and long grass interspersed will often be used for foraging (long grass) and basking (short grass).

Role in the garden

The grass snake’s diet consists mainly of amphibians such as frogs, toads and newts, but they can be known to also eat small mammals, young birds and some fish.

The snakes natural predators are badgers, foxes, cats, hedgehogs and a number of birds. The snake has two tactics to dissuade certain predators from killing them – ‘playing dead’ and releasing pungent and foul-smelling substances from the anal gland.

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Scientific Name

Natrix natrix


England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland


Length: 80 cm (2 ft 7 in)

Weight: 240g


Widespread and abundant throughout Great Britain


Damp areas like ponds, reservoirs and marshes, also making use of the surrounding terrestrial habitat such as grassland, scrub and woodland

Other Wildlife