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Posted by W von Papinešu on August 20, 2002 at 19:38:41:
In Reply to: Press: Slow Worms Get Marching Orders posted by W von Papinešu on August 20, 2002 at 16:46:11:
Photo: Nick Meade handles a slow-worm.
KINGSTON GUARDIAN (UK) 19 August 02 Watch for worms
Harmless slow-worms are being killed by gardeners who mistake them for snakes, despite it being illegal to kill a native slow-worm or snake.
The small copper-coloured reptiles are in fact good news for the Kingston gardener, as like other reptiles and amphibians they do a good job of keeping the slugs at bay.
The creatures are scared of humans and only come out at night.
Nick Meade of conservation charity Froglife said: "They might live in people's gardens and they might not notice they are there for years."
Slow-worms, common lizards and grass snakes have declined across much of the urban environment as their traditional habitats come under threat.
Allotments provide a refuge for them, providing sunny, grassy sites perfect for reptiles and conservation charity Froglife is trying to find out if allotment owners have seen any on their sites.
Mr Meade said Britain's only poisonous snake, the adder, was not present in London, adding: "Snakes are not anything to worry about in England."
Allotment holders who want to participate in the survey or garden pond owners who want a free pond check up aimed at encouraging amphibians, should contact Froglife on 01986 873733 or visit.