Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean








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30 September 2008

We cleared quite a large area and will be returning to this site to carry on clearing the Birch trees at the far distance in this photo. We did not have a fire this week but will probably burn off the shrub next time we visit.

The Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis)

Slow worms look superficially like snakes, but are actually legless lizards. One way to identify them is that unlike snakes, lizards (and therefore slow worms) have eyelids.Slow worms prefer humid habitats, including grassy meadows, gardens, farmland, woodland margins and open fields.

They hibernate from October to February/March under piles of leaves, within tree roots and in crevices of banks. They hibernate both communally and solitarily, and sometimes share hibernating sites with other reptiles


Grid Ref SO621076

Oakenhill is a beautiful site on the hillside with expansive views across the forest. We are clearing the birch and gorse to encourage Nightjars in this area. However, the wildlife interest this week was provide by Luke finding a small nest of Slow Worms hidden in the bracken debris. Although Slow Worms start to hibernate from October onwards, we think these were not yet ready to hibernate as they were quite lively! We left them in peace and kept clear of their site after this photo was taken.


Slow worm


Cleared area






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