Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean








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9 March 2010

The area along the stream is now quite open.



Grid Ref SO588087

We were to continue clearing up and burning the brush we had cut down on our previous visit and we were raking up the old bracken and bramble in the hope that it would give space to flowering plants. It was a beautiful day with bright sunshine. The walls of the old iron works were an ideal place to look for basking lizards and adders as this is the time of year when they emerge. We did not see any adders but we did see quite a few lizards.

Common Lizard

Common Lizard (lacerta vivipara)

Surprising facts about reptiles

At least once per year, generally in the summer months, reptiles shed their scaly skins, a process known as sloughing (pronounced 'sluffing'); in doing so they are not only able to grow bigger but also to get rid of skin parasites. The skin is not the only part of a reptile that gets renewed regularly: they also grow new teeth continuously.

Several kinds of lizards, including the slow worm, are able to grow replacement tails if their original tail gets broken off, although the replacement tail is not an accurate replica of the original. When cornered by a predator the lizard can even release its own tail, which snaps at a special weak point and continues wriggling in front of the predator, distracting it and allowing the lizard time to scurry off to safety.

Some reptiles lay eggs, while others - in Britain just the adder and the common lizard - are viviparous, which means they give birth to live offspring.




Clearing the stream


Iron works

These are some of the remains of the iron works and we are clearing the debris around the walls.


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