In Wildlife

Our Animal Fact Files focus on one animal that you can find in the New Forest and each blog will share lots of interesting facts about our animals, so everyone can learn and understand more about the wonderful wildlife in our beautiful National Park…

Top facts about reptiles in the New Forest:

- The New Forest is home to all 6 native reptiles found in the UK.
Adders, unlike many other snake species, don’t lay eggs, the young are live born. Adders usually hibernate from late September until March. When they aren’t hibernating, the best place to see an Adder is any area of open heath on a sunny day, where they will be basking in the sunshine, but they are never too far away from cover.
Grass Snakes are the longest snake species in the UK. You’ll usually find Grass Snakes by water sources, including boggy areas, larger ponds and streams.
- It’s very rare to see a Smooth Lizard. Although if you were to see one, it would likely be on our sandy heathland, as this is where they hide away in shallow, sandy burrows.
- The New Forest is one of the only places in the UK that the Sand Lizard lives. Sand Lizards are the UK’s only egg-laying lizard. You’ll find Sand Lizards in heathlands and sand dunes.
Slow Worms are often mistaken for snakes, but they are actually legless lizards. Slow Worms tend to be found in long grass or soft soil.
- The Common Lizard is the most commonly seen reptile in the New Forest. They usually grow to between 13cm and 15cm in length. Common Lizards are usually seen in open heath and grassland, as well as nearby water.
- We have our very own New Forest Reptile Centre here in our National Park, where you can discover more about our native reptile species and see some of them in their open-air pods! (Please note, the Reptile Centre is currently closed until 23 July).

Please always follow the New Forest Code in the New Forest. Do not touch any animals. Please note that some snakes (Adders) are venomous, so please do not disturb or provoke them. See the full New Forest Code below:


Image Credit : Forestry England

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