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  • slow worms

    hi i wanted to turn my compost but found a slow worm. all i can find out is they lay there young in them but not how long they might stay has anyone got any info as to how long
    thanks for any advice.
    garry

  • #2
    Lucky you Gary, I have no idea how long they might stay, but there could be as many as 10 youngsters, assuming local Cats don't predate them. There is a chance they might hibernate in a compost heap in the Autumn too, if you could wait until late summer before using your compost, the young would have gone by then I would have thought.
    If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.

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    • #3
      Maybe you could just mix the top of your heap up a bit and add water to that if necessary, leaving the rest undisturbed? Slow worms are very lethargic on cold days, so if you do decide to move anything around I'd say pick a day when the temp is over 20 C - then they will be able to move away easily if they feel like it.

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      • #4
        Unlike grass snakes, slow worms give birth to live young, and the babies are independent pretty much immediately; they don't have a period where the parents look after them. So I wouldn't worry about it, personally. If you disturb them, they'll leave, but then after you've finished turning it they'll likely come back.

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        • #5
          thank you all for your advice.we are luckey to have them.
          thanks again
          garry

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          • #6
            It is well worth looking after them as they eat pests and can get at hidden places that frogs and toads can't reach.

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            • #7
              We've just seen both a large adult slow worm and a couple of grass snakes in our compost!

              I just hope the adults aren't eating each other's babies?????
              "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nicos View Post
                We've just seen both a large adult slow worm and a couple of grass snakes in our compost!

                I just hope the adults aren't eating each other's babies?????
                Just remember in France you have extra snakes to us over here
                http://www.planetepassion.eu/SNAKES-...of-France.html
                If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.

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                • #9
                  Indeed

                  We have seen , in our garden , two types of (safe ) grass snake-one has less distinct creamy blobs in the ear region.
                  OH spotted a viper in a nearby field last year.

                  Our pharmacy say there have not been any reports to them of any other species nearby.

                  I love that the general rule of thumb is to check the pupil shape - round for safe and vertical for 'run away.....!'
                  Would you honestly stand around to check if unsure?????
                  Last edited by Nicos; 21-06-2020, 01:30 PM.
                  "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

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                  • #10
                    I have a rule of not putting my hand(or my butt) anywhere I can't see when out photographing Adders, if you don't want to see a reptile, just stamp your feet, they will be long gone before you get close.
                    If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.

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                    • #11
                      I used to have a lot of slow worms in my compost bins but I haven't seen any for at least three years. They're three adjacent 1 cu yd bins.
                      I used to carefully fish them out and kept them safe in a bucket whilst working on the heaps.
                      Could it be predation by rats? No sign of larger animals accessing bins.

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                      • #12
                        I remember as kid being fascinated by a slow worm. I showed it to my cousin who said "Its only a plastic snake" until it flicked out its little black tongue! I've never seen her run as fast or scream as loud.
                        My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
                        to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

                        Diversify & prosper


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