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When is a Grass Snake not a Grass Snake?

Ask any walker that knows their snakes and they will tell you that there are three species of snake native to the UK; adder, smooth snake and grass snake. Well, the latest findings from scientists change that fact, because it seems not all grass snakes are the same species…

barred grass snake with captioncommon grass snake with captionA new type of snake has been discovered in the UK, bringing the total number of species to four. Scientists say that the barred grass snake is a different species to the common grass snake, rather than a sub species of the common grass snake as was originally thought. The other two species of snake are the smooth snake and the adder, the only venomous snake in the UK.

Both types of grass snake are normally found in lowland regions in the south of England. The snakes can be more than a metre long, are found near water and eat mainly amphibians like frogs and newts.

The barred grass snake is different in appearance to its common counterpart. The barred grass snake is grey in colour, does not have a yellow collar and has more noticeable black stripes along its entire length. The common grass snake in comparison is olive green with a yellow collar and barely noticeable stripes.

Grass snakes are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act so it is a criminal offence to injure or kill them.

9 September 2017
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Length

The length (in miles) of a walk is an approximation of the overall of the walking guide, not a measure of the distance "as the crow flies" between any two points. This is based on the GPX file that was created when the author walked the route and rounded to the nearest mile.length

Grade (Boots)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult it is to walk. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 walking boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles or other obstacles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well-worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. Do be aware that the level of stamina required will vary and you should only walk within your limits - the indication of walk length will help with this. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles.

Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

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