Adders, like most reptiles, are shy and retiring (photo by Paul Shaw) 2/4
Common lizards shake their prey to stun it, making it easier to eat (photo by Peter Dent) 3/4
When they are threatened grass snakes pretend to be dead (photo by Pat Adams) 4/4

Spring reptile survey to help protect species in Norfolk

Friday 01 March, 2019

Norfolk Wildlife Trust launches a new wildlife spotter survey to record sightings across Norfolk of adders, grass snakes and common lizards this spring.  

You don’t have to be an expert to make a valuable contribution to local knowledge of Norfolk’s wildlife. Recording wildlife is an easy way to get involved in wildlife conservation. It helps NWT to understand an animal’s distribution across the county, and identify any areas particularly important or lacking in these species. All three reptiles in the survey are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 and a “priority species” under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.

Adders have a widespread distribution within Britain. They are scarce across much of East Anglia, but there are strongholds that exist along coasts and heaths. Heathland habitat has declined in Norfolk and it is likely that with the loss of this habitat, adders have also declined in numbers and range.

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. It is usually greenish in colour, with a yellow and black collar, pale belly, and dark markings down the sides.

The common lizard is one of two species of lizard found in Norfolk, the other being the slow worm (which although snake-like is actually a legless lizard). They are found across many different habitats in Norfolk including heathland, woodland and grassland. Living up to its name, the common lizard is the UK's most common and widespread reptile.

Head of People and Wildlife at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, David North said: “This March, April and May we are asking people to share their wildlife sightings of three amazing reptiles found in Norfolk: adder, grass snake and common lizard. After hibernating through the winter, reptiles begin to emerge in spring as the weather starts to warm, basking in the spring sunshine. Of course reptiles are very elusive, and often will disappear from sight before you have even seen them, so when trying to spot reptiles you have to move slowly and quietly. If you are lucky enough to see an adder, grass snake or common lizard please remember not to disturb them and definitely do not attempt to pick them up.”

Add your sightings to the map!

To share your sighting, we will need to know what species you saw, where you saw it: try and be as specific as possible, when you saw it, and who you are.

Sightings can be submitted easily online, where you will also be able to see a distribution map of all the sightings submitted so far. You can also phone your wildlife sighting to Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Information Service on 01603 598 333.
Share this

Top news stories

2019-03-07 Southrepps Commons local natur Southrepps Commons local nature reserve is important new addition to Trust’s portfolio
Thursday 07 March, 2019
Norfolk Wildlife Trust is delighted to receive Southrepps Commons from the Parish Council; a local nature reserve mad...
2019-03-01 Spring reptile survey to help Spring reptile survey to help protect species in Norfolk
Friday 01 March, 2019
Norfolk Wildlife Trust launches a new wildlife spotter survey to record sightings across Norfolk of adders, grass sna...
2019-02-28 Bag funds for bluebells Bag funds for bluebells
Thursday 28 February, 2019
Norfolk Wildlife Trust is bidding to bag a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative to celebrate its largest...
2019-02-26 Wildlife in Common 20 Species Wildlife in Common 20 Species survey
Tuesday 26 February, 2019
This spring and summer explore a common and help us map the distribution of some iconic species in Norfolk. By shari...
2019-02-18 North Norfolk’s famous Bagot g North Norfolk’s famous Bagot goats head south for their latest job
Monday 18 February, 2019
Some of the famous North Norfolk Bagot goats have headed south to continue their valuable conservation and habitat-ma...
2019-01-30 World Wetlands Day – free entr World Wetlands Day – free entry at Cley!
Wednesday 30 January, 2019
We are opening our Cley and Salthouse Marshes nature reserve free of charge on Saturday 2 February in honour of World...
2019-01-16 Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife F Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair to raise funds for NWT local wetland habitats
Wednesday 16 January, 2019
Norfolk Wildlife Trust has been named as the charity beneficiary of the Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair, taking pla...
2019-01-11 Western Link for NDR options a Western Link for NDR options are unacceptable, says NWT
Friday 11 January, 2019
None of the proposed routes for the NDR Western Link Road could be built without unacceptable damage to multiple i...
2018-12-21 Lost Words campaign success! Lost Words campaign success!
Friday 21 December, 2018
Acorns, willows and kingfishers will be appearing in every primary school in Norfolk, after a fundraising campaign re...
2018-12-20 NWT responds to Draft Environm NWT responds to Draft Environment Bill
Thursday 20 December, 2018
Norfolk Wildlife Trust calls for major improvements to the draft Environment Bill to put nature into recovery.  ...
2018-12-06 Longstanding volunteer wins Li Longstanding volunteer wins Lifetime Achievement Award at Stars of Norfolk
Thursday 06 December, 2018
Longstanding volunteer, Barry Watkins and his wife Claire (postumously) have won the Lifetime Achievement Award at th...
2018-12-03 New report shows nature-friend New report shows nature-friendly farmers boost recovery
Monday 03 December, 2018
A group of more than 40 cereal farmers are proving that it is possible to help nature recover and make a profit...