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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Grass snakes

Grass snakes

There is only one type of snake found in Jersey – the grass snake. The grass snake is entirely harmless and the rarest of Jersey’s reptiles. 

It is often confused with the slow worm, which is actually a legless lizard. 

It is protected under the Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2021.​

What do grass snakes look like?

Adult grass snakes grow to about 80cm long, but can grow as large as 120cm long.

They are a dull green / brown colour, with a cream belly and black markings - black spots and black bars are found down its sides. A lot of grass snakes have a distinctive yellow and black collar, but sometimes this is absent, especially in larger individuals.

Grass snake diet

Grass snakes feed mostly on amphibians (frogs, toads and newts).

Grass snake habitats

Grass snakes are often seen around ponds and streams (they are good swimmers), but can also be found in dry woods, hedgerows and meadows.

They are not just found in wild habitats - they frequently visit gardens and farms.

Grass snakes usually lay their eggs in compost heaps, manure piles and any other warm rotting vegetation.

Where to find grass snakes

Grass snakes are diurnal, which means they're active during the day. The best time to see grass snakes is after they emerge from hibernation in March - April (although they can be encountered until October).

Encourage grass snakes into your garden

To learn how to encourage grass snakes into your garden and how to build the best pond to attract amphibians, read the grass snakes leaflet download.

Grass snakes leaflet

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