Slow Worms

Partner organisations:

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

Amphibian & Reptile Groups of the UK




ARC full 


 Slow worm HOWARD INNS 6 sml

Photo by Howard Inns

Slow worm wow factor - Slow worms, like many other lizards, autotomize meaning they have the ability to shed their tails to escape predators. The tail regrows, but remains smaller.

Slow worms are harmless - they are not snakes - but actually lizards without legs! The hidden places provided by long grass, compost heaps and rough corners in churchyards and burials sites are where you find them. 

If slow worms are living in your burial site then there is probably a great deal of other wildlife too.

If you see a slow worm or a grass snake in a burial ground please let us know by filling in our RECORD CARD.

Identifying:- Slow worm

 Slow Worm sml    

Adults 30 - 40cms

Generally grey or brown, very rarely black

Small, shiny scales giving a metallic appearance

Blue spots on some males

New born 7 - 10 cms

 Identifying:- Grass snake

 Grass Snake


Grass Snake 2


Adults 70 - 100 cms

Colour ranges from bright green to dark olive and can appear black from a distance. 

Cream, yellow or white collar behind the head.

Hatchlings 16 - 20cms with similar markings to adults, appear Aug/Sept

Eggs are 2.5cm long, laid in clutches of 10 - 40 usually stuck together, often laid in compost heaps



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