This confusing reptile is called a worm and looks like a snake, but is actually a legless lizard? They have a shiny appearance and come in various shades of brown, from greyish brown to coppery.

Their snakish appearance is betrayed by their lizard-like head, which seems to merge seamlessly into their body, and their eyelids, which snakes lack. Slow worms are found throughout Britain but have never been found in Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man.

Slow worms enjoy a variety of habitats, from heaths to grasslands and woodland edges, and can often be found in large gardens or allotments. You can make your garden more appealing for them with log piles, areas of long grass, and a compost heap. If you lay down some cover, like a corrugated sheet or a piece of old dark carpet, you may find slow worms or other reptiles sheltering underneath it.

You are most likely to spot reptiles on sunny days, but slow worms spend less time basking in the open than other reptiles and can be tricky to spot. so don’t be disheartened if you dong find one! Your search could also reveal common lizards, grass snakes, or even adders.

Places to see slow worms include: Hothfield Heathlands – Ashford, Old Park Hill – Dover, Darland Banks – Gillingham, Burham Down – Chatham, Blue Bell Hill – Aylesford and Romney Marsh – New Romney (and I am happy to say I have them in my Sandgate garden too – lots of woodpiles there. So am betting they are widely spread across our district).

Information from Kent Wildlife Trust: