Nature Profiles

British Reptiles

The British Isles are situated at too high a latitude to have a well-developed reptile fauna. There are only 3 snake and 3 lizard species in Britain, of which the Smooth Snake and Sand Lizard are very restricted in range. In contrast to warmer countries where lizards can be common garden creatures, British reptiles are generally only seen by people who go out into the countryside to find them, or chance upon them on sunny days. The Slow Worm is the only reptile that does well on the edge of towns, where it will often set up home in compost heaps in gardens that border natural habitat. Warm sandy heathland habitats in the southern counties are the only place in Britain where reptiles can really be considered common, or to reach any significant degree of population density.