CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Roaming reptiles

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:09 17 October 2016

REPTILES

REPTILES

Copyright: (c) Susan Hall

A glimpse of one of Britain’s reptile species adds a thrill to any walk. Here’s where to find these ancient, mysterious and long-lived animals in Devon

Reptiles are fascinating animals that can sometimes sadly be forgotten about when talking about interesting and exciting UK wildlife.

They have evolved from prehistoric beginnings to the animals you see today and the variety is astonishing. Most lay eggs, but some give birth to live young, they live in an array of habitats and, contrary to general expectations, are often quite shy.

Perhaps you might be lucky enough to come across one basking on a rock to warm themselves, or maybe you’ll need to do a little more searching. However, these creatures are more than worth the wait to see. Sadly, due to loss of habitat, some of these reptiles are very rare, which makes a sighting even more spectacular. It’s so important that we protect important habitats to ensure that we do not lose our native reptiles and The Wildlife Trusts reserves are working hard to do just that.

So would you like to try and meet some of these amazing critters? Head to these sites in Devon for your best chances:

Bovey Heathfield

Bovey Heathfield nature reserve is a real reptile haven and is a unique nature reserve as it has been rescued from a trashed site of burned-out cars and fly-tipping to a colourful lowland heathland of heather and gorse, along with great dragonfly ponds and stonechats and green woodpeckers on the woodland fringe.

Visit on a hot day and you have a good chance of seeing slow worms and common lizards basking on the patches of bare earth. Grass snakes and adders also make use of the many corrugated iron ‘reptile shelters’ that have been placed around the reserve – feel free to look in the shelters, but please do not touch!

REPTILESREPTILES

Stapleton Mire

Stapleton Mire is a Culm grassland site rich in nationally rare plant and insect species. The reserve was acquired by Devon Wildlife Trust from a farmer who had farmed the land in a traditional way for many years, thus maintaining the diverse site we see today.

The Culm grassland communities are very rich and this reserve hosts a variety of wildlife, from roe deer to barn owls to marbled white butterflies.

Adders have been recorded regularly on this site - perhaps you will be able to see one if you visit this diverse reserve!

Rackenford and Knowstone Moor

Rackenford and Knowstone Moors together with the adjacent Hares Down, represents the largest remaining block of Culm grassland in Devon, a habitat that was once widely distributed across the north of the county but, through changes in agricultural practice, has become greatly fragmented and localised. It is designated SAC and SSSI for marsh fritillary butterflies and Culm grassland (purple moor-grass pasture and wet heath).

Adders and Slow-worms can be found here thriving in the rare grassland.

Wherever you live there is a Wildlife Trust that covers your area. You can support their work by joining your local Wildlife Trust today. Visit www.wildlifetrusts.org to choose the Trust you would like to join.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 11:47

Now is the perfect time to head for the bright lights of Exeter, where you can hunker down in one of the city’s many pubs, cafés and indoor attractions. Here’s our pick of the best places to keep warm, dry and entertained | Words: Chrissy Harris

Read more
Yesterday, 08:15

From cosy pubs galore to winter beach walks, there’s plenty to enjoy in Devon at Christmas. We list 19 reasons you should come visit us this December.

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devon is particularly stunning at this time of year and so we’ve picked out 18 stunning pictures that encapsulate the county during the festive period

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devon is a joy to explore with its beautiful beaches, pretty woodland and charming towns and villages. Made even more magical under a blanket of glistening frost, we pick 12 walks to blow away the cobwebs in the county this winter

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A South Devon walk along a wreck-rich coastline with SIMONE STANBROOK-BYRNE

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

In the latest of our 24-hour tours of Devon’s best locations, we head to Britain’s Ocean City

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

With breathtaking beaches, rolling countryside, stately homes and unique villages, it’s no wonder high-profile film productions flock to Devon - how well do you know the movies that have set up camp here however?

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Whether it’s on our beautiful beaches, in our magnificent moors or within our stunning stately homes, film productions are constantly setting up in Devon. Here are 16 that you might not know used the county as a filming location

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

From angry spirits to headless horses and ghoulish monks, Devon has more than a few supernatural stories to get your skin crawling. We have picked 11 haunted places in the county

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October is the perfect time to discover the joys of Exmoor. Jennette Baxter of Visit Exmoor suggests five great ways to enjoy autumn on the moor

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wild camping can be one of the best ways to escape the crowds for a night or two and lose yourself in the landscape - SOPHIE PAVELLE chooses her five favourite places to ‘wild-life’ camp in Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

From sandy beaches and lighthouse-topped cliffs to views of the Jurassic Coast, the Devon coastline offers many perfect locations for a seaside walk. We pick 10 of the prettiest routes to take

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Take our quiz to find out how well you really know Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

As the weather starts to warm up and the Devon countryside beckons, LIZZIE JANE of the National Trust in the South West offers plenty of walk ideas for you to try. Whether you want a relaxed Sunday stroll or a more strenuous hike, here are 10 walks across Devon (and beyond) to help you escape the crowds and head off the beaten track

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search