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Slow Worm


Slow Worm Assessments and Surveys by Experienced Ecologists


Slow Worm Site Retile Surveys Assessments

All reptiles are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, making it illegal to intentionally kill or injure a common reptile, including the slow-worm.

Where can you find the slow-worm?

They can often be found in gardens/allotments, heathland and woodland and have two key requirements for where they live; access to sunlight and thick vegetation.

How can I identify a slow-worm?

Slow Worm Reptile Assessments Surveys

They’re legless lizards, often mistaken for snakes due to their appearance.

Unlike snakes they have eyelids and are able to blink, have a flat forked tongue and can drop their tails if attacked. Slow-worms are much smaller than snakes, adults growing up to 50cm in length.
Males are greyish, brown in colour. Females are often golden brown with dark sides and often have a dark stripe running along their backs but both have shiny, smooth skin.

What does their diet consist of? Who are their predators?

They have many predators including birds, adders, hedgehogs, badgers and cats. They consume a range of garden pests including snails, caterpillars and ants.

Is the slow-worm venomous?

No, they’re not venomous. However, the adder is – click here to read more about the adder.

Ecological consultancy services:

Our ecologists have experience in undertaking reptile surveys where and well-practised with handling slow-worms as part of road, rail and development projects. Surveys typically comprise 7 survey visits undertaken between April/May and September in suitable weather conditions and involve installing artificial refuges in the form of squares of bitumen felt or corrugated tin which congregate to warm up. If slow-worms are found to be present, mitigation solutions can include:

  • Installation of temporary or permanent reptile exclusion fencing this is often combined with translocating reptiles to an alternative site either off site or in a designated area on site
  • Habitat manipulation by way of reducing the habitat e.g. grassland to encourage reptiles to disperse to the boundaries or a designated site


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