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Brockhurst and Marlston House School
The Good Schools Guide

'Is it a snake, Sir'? 'Does it bite, Miss C'?

Exploring in the school grounds as all good prep school boys should on a glorious May evening, Oscar, Bertie and William came upon a slow worm.  Refreshingly unafraid, they picked it up carefully and came to show it to two members of staff, asking whether it was a snake. Mr P and Miss C recognised it immediately and this evening's eco-task has been to make a suitable habitat under a piece of corrugated iron.

Former pupils will recognise the creature, for they have regularly occupied the area beneath the ha-ha and frequently caused pupils alarm as they look as if they should be 'snakes'.  Mr P said that, 'It is lovely to see one again after no sightings for some four or five years'.

'Slow worms look superficially like snakes, but are actually legless lizards. One way to identify them is to see if they have eyelids. Lizards (and therefore slow worms) do while snakes are lidless'.  BBC website

'Living in the crevices between rocks, slow worms hunt by day for slugs, snails, small insects and spiders. The females give birth during summer, when up to a dozen partly developed young are born in a birth sac which soon breaks open. Developing the young inside her body keeps them at a stable temperature, protecting them from the extremes of Britain's weather.'  BBC website

NP 10 May 2018

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