Litter in the countryside: it’s ugly and unhealthy for people, but it can be fatal for our native amphibians and reptiles.

Sand lizard found trapped by beer can on Sefton Coast by Paul Hudson

That is the warning from Amphibian and Reptile Conservation following a spate of reports from its field teams.

The national charity for the UK’s native frogs, toads, newts, lizards and snakes has 80 nature reserves and is one of the country’s leading managers of lowland heath.

Reports include:

  • Two lizards found trapped in a bottle during a survey in the Weald of Surrey – one, a sand lizard, was rescued by the team but the other, most likely a common lizard, did not survive
  • A sand lizard saved from a discarded beer can on the Sefton coast
  • Three common lizards trapped in a wine bottle left on the dunes in South Wales – these recovered after being placed on a basking bank by a member of the ARC team, but they report finding many others in the past that have not been so lucky

Jim Foster, ARC’s Conservation Director, said: “Litter in the countryside is bad news for all of our wildlife but it can prove fatal for amphibians and reptiles.

“Discarded bottles and cans especially can be a death-trap for small animals.  We urge everyone to take their rubbish home and dispose of it safely.”