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Monday, 29 June 2015

Grass snakes in East Dean, Friston forest, East Sussex, UK

 The pond in East Dean village is an idyllic shady spot -- with benches -- for a picnic lunch midway on a circular walk from Crowlink through Friston forest to Exceat and then up and down five of the Seven Sisters.
 We were not alone.  Young grass snakes were swimming in the dense reeds at the pond edge.
 Quite small, perhaps 20 cm or so long, they were well camouflaged.

The yellow "collar" is unmistakably a grass snake; harmless to people and a pleasure to see.
There is a large pile of grass clippings in my garden from a neighbour in addition to other compost heaps, in which I should like grass snakes to breed again.  They eat frogs.  But they might also reduce the scores of newts, which predate the tadpoles in the first place.

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