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It is rare to see snakes in the UK. If you do spot one, it will usually be between July and September when they are at their most active.
Only gardens with extensive secluded wildlife areas will have snakes. In most garden areas if snakes are seen, they are most likely just passing through.
There are a few hard to spot signs of snakes that you can look out for if you have concerns. These include:
There are certain places where snakes may like to hide on your property.
Reptile Habitats - Nature reserves of heathland or rough grassland, disused quarries, large allotments, large derelict urban sites or sunny road and railway embankments with scrub cover.
Garden Features - Wood, rock or rubble piles, rockeries, ponds, long grass areas and shrubs.
Sunny Areas - Sun trap areas with lots of vegetation cover and places to shelter.
Gardens, parks or other grassed areas - Be prepared to find reptiles if you lift up debris or are near features such as hedges, ponds, compost heaps and areas of long grass.
Reptiles are timid and will usually flee to seek cover if they are detected by people or pets.
To deter snakes there are a few things you can do:
Mow grass regularly to keep it short.
Clear low growing plants and shrubs that provide cover.
Remove rockeries, debris, wood or log piles. Keep compost heaps in a sealed bin.
Fill holes that they can hide in – under sheds, patios and walls.
Putting close fitting fences or walls around ponds can be a deterrent.
If the snake you’ve seen is an escaped pet, it should be removed by the RSPCA for re-homing.
Sometimes exotic snakes are found in gardens, grounds or warehouses – mostly in urban or suburban areas. These species may be escaped or abandoned pets or accidentally imported in goods.
Contact your local RSPCA or Zoo is you suspect you have a non-native snake nearby.