Species
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In the U.K we have 6 native reptile species, 3 of these are snakes and 3 are lizards. Reptiles are cold blooded and have dry scaly skin. The six native species here in the U.K are:

• Adder
• Grass Snake
• Smooth Snake
• Slow Worm
• Common Lizard
• Sand Lizard

Further information

For more information see the herpcontrust website
http://www.herpconstrust.org.uk

Reptiles

In the U.K we have 6 native reptile species, 3 are snakes and 3 are lizards. Reptiles are cold blooded and have dry scaly skin. The six native species here in the U.K are:

• Adder
• Grass Snake
• Smooth Snake
• Slow Worm
• Common Lizard
• Sand Lizard
Below is a brief description of each species.

Adder (Vivipera berus)

The Adder is a small stocky snake which has a distinctive zig-zag stripe down its back and a row of dark spots along each side. Adders are found across the U.K but are more numerous in the south of England. They can be found in various habitats such as open heathland, woodland and moors. Adders like to bask in the sun and often are often seen in open areas before disappearing into thick vegetation. Adders have a poisonous bite which they use to kill prey animals such as voles, shrews and mice. The adder follows the bitten prey and swallows it head first.
Adders are poisonous but not aggressive and would rather retreat into cover than bite a person or domestic animal, as with any poisonous creature they should be treated with due caution.
Adder numbers have declined in Britain in recent years with loss of habitat seen as the major threat to the species.

Grass Snake (Natrix natrix)

The grass snake is the largest terrestrial reptile native to Britain, and can grow over 1 metre in length. They are usually olive green, greyish or brown in colour with a yellow and black neck collar and black barring down the sides. The grass snake is found across England and Wales but it is scarcer in the north with no confirmed sightings in Scotland.
Grass snakes are often found in and around water, where they swim well and feed on amphibians and fish. Small mammals and birds are also taken. Grass snakes are non-venomous and kill their prey by striking and then swallowing them whole.
Grass snakes are Britain’s only egg laying snake and lay soft shelled eggs in piles of rotting vegetation during the summer months.

Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca)

The Smooth snake is Britain’s rarest reptile and is usually 60-70cm long, grey or dull brown with black markings and a heart shaped crown on the top of its head. The name smooth snake comes from its smooth scales. This snake is only found on mature heathlands and sunny scree slopes in the south of England.
Smooth snakes are constrictors and coil tightly around their prey before swallowing them whole. Smooth snakes feed mostly on lizards and other snakes although they will also eat rodents, earthworms and insects. They pose no threat to people.
The loss of suitable habitat is the main reason for the decline of this species.

Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis)

Despite its name the slow worm is actually a legless lizard! (Not a worm or a snake). Slow worms are usually between 40 and 45cm long when fully grown. Many people initially mistake the slow worm for a snake. Male and Female slow worms have a marked difference in colour when they are adults. The females have a dark stripe down the back the flanks can be brown or black and the sides almost always black. Males are more uniform in colour and occasionally have blue spots.
The slow worm can be found across Britain but is most common in the south and east of England. They can occupy a range of habitats and tend to take shelter under sheets of iron, stones and planks of wood rather than basking in the sun. Slow worms feed on slugs and snails and other slow moving insects. If it is captured the slow worm can shed its tail in order to escape. The tail then regenerates within a couple of weeks. Because they are understudied they are one of our least understood reptiles.

Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara) formerly (Lacerta vivipara)

The common lizard can be found across Britain in a variety of habitats. They prefer dry, open sunny areas but can also be found in wet heaths. Their main habitats include moorland, heaths, coastal cliffs, dry stone walls and embankments.
Common lizards show a lot of variation in colour. The upper surface is generally brown with lines of darker markings along the back. Some individuals may have green, grey or reddish upperparts, which can make identification difficult. Males have bright undersides which are typically orange or yellow in colour but sometimes red with black spots.
They are very fast and agile and quickly disappear into cover if disturbed. They hunt for invertebrates which when caught are shaken in their jaws before swallowing them whole.

Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis)

The sand lizard is only found naturally on scattered sites in Dorset, Surrey, Hampshire and Merseyside. Sand lizards typically inhabit lowland dry heathland and coastal sand dunes. The sand lizard is larger and stockier than the common lizard. Sand lizards have a pattern of dark spots with light centres over a background of brown or grey. Males develop bright green flanks during the breeding season (April to May). Sand lizards hunt invertebrates after warming their bodies in the sun. They are only active in warm temperatures and retreat into burrows in the evening. Sand lizard numbers have declined drastically in recent times, mainly because of a loss of suitable habitat. As a result they are protected under both UK and European legislation.

Services

Case Studies

Phase 2a for High Speed 2 (HS2)

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December 2016
Site: Phase 2a for High Speed 2 (HS2) - from the West Midlands to Crewe Client: Biocensus c/o Arup ##Project overview In spring 2016 UES were subcontracted ... more...

Reptile translocation in Gloucestershire

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September 2016
Site: Lydney, Gloucestershire Client: MMC Land and Regeneration ##Project overview UES was commissioned to produce a suite of ecological reports in order to ... more...

Protected species surveys in Lydney

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August 2016
Site: Lydney, Gloucestershire Client: MMC Land and Regeneration ##Project overview UES were instructed to carry out ecological surveys on a former golf cours... more...

Surveys in Hebburn, Northumberland

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March 2016
Site: Former shipyard in Hebburn, Northumberland Client: MMC2 Protected species / habitats: bats, birds, invertebrates, reptiles and saltmarsh ##Project over... more...

Bat surveys of 31 schools across England

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February 2016
Site: 31 schools across England including Yorkshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Greater London and Kent. Client: Education Funding A... more...

Reptile surveys of 4 schools in Kent

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January 2015
Site: 4 schools in Kent Client: Education Funding Agency Protected species: Reptiles ##Project overview UES have completed reptile presence / absence survey... more...

Phase 1 Habitat Survey in Winchester

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November 2011
UES recently completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of an old mill in Winchester. An Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey involves mapping the habitats on the ... more...

Extended phase 1 habitat survey in Deeside

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August 2011
UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Deeside, North Wales in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their development... more...

Extended phase 1 survey in Oxfordshire

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June 2011
UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Oxfordshire in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their development would ha... more...

Great crested newt trapping scheme

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November 2010
Project summary In 2008/09, UES were instructed to conduct a Great Crested Newt (GCN) mitigation scheme for Augean PLC at Slipe Clay pits in King’s Cliffe, n... more...

Breeam Habitat Survey in Birmingham

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November 2010
UES were commissioned to provide an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of o high rise office complex near Edgbaston in Birmingham. The Survey is to provide informa... more...

Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey Flintshire

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May 2010
United Environmental Services have completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of a site near the town of Flint in North Wales. The site has been a dis-used br... more...

Major Pipeline Survey

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January 2010
UES were commissioned by a Northwest based utilities company to carry out survey work for a major pipeline in the north west of England. ##Planning The propo... more...