Is the smooth snake having a rough time…? Help us to conserve Britain’s rarest reptile!

ARC are dedicated to the conservation of our rarest amphibian and reptile species. Our vision is for a world where amphibians and reptiles can thrive in their natural habitats with a society inspired and committed to their conservation.

We can only achieve our mission with your help, and by making a donation today, you can help make our conservation goals a reality.

Few people in Britain today will have heard of the smooth snake, which is one of our rarest native animals. Nevertheless, this is a snake with character, charm and beauty - its value to our heritage and the heathland ecosystems in which it lives is irreplaceable.

So, what’s the problem? Read more

The smooth snake is Britain’s rarest reptile. We know very little about its ecology and behaviour as it is a timid and secretive creature, choosing to bask within thick heather vegetation or burrow out of sight. For this reason, it has been very difficult to protect the species, and develop strategies to conserve them.

The heathland home of the smooth snake is internationally important for wildlife, but faces many threats: fire, development pressure, fragmentation, habitat neglect and poor management and are all serious factors. Smooth snakes are highly sensitive to environmental changes and are slow to disperse, making the species an important indicator, letting us know if our heathland conservation efforts are working.

To ensure the rare smooth snake is thriving throughout its range, we must gain a much better understanding of where it lives and how it interacts with its environment.

In recent years there has been a dramatic reduction in funding to support conservation initiatives. Wildlife charities such as ARC must find new ways of generating essential funding to conserve our species and habitats – generous donations from individuals who care about their environment are an important part of this.  

How will your support help smooth snakes? Read more

In order to conserve the smooth snake, we must first know where it lives. Your donation will help to support a systematic reptile survey and monitoring programme to find where the animals are present and work out how best to protect them. To achieve this, we are training an army of ‘Reptile Survey Volunteers’ to find smooth snakes on heathlands throughout Southern England.

Our ambitious programme needs time and money! Your kind donation could help to:

  • Purchase essential survey equipment
  • Carry out research – we will analyse all the data collected to guide our survey programme, map smooth snake distribution, and help us to better understand their ecology.
  • Promote reptiles - the smooth snake is a Flagship species, acting as an ambassador for conservation of all our reptiles and heathland fauna and flora. We are planning a varied four year programme of outreach and events throughout Southern England to tell people more about the smooth snake and highlight its plight.
  • Protect smooth snakes - we will work closely with landowners and managers, using our work to support and inform the best habitat management practices. We will also fight to ensure that there is continued protection for our reptile and amphibian species in changing political times.

To achieve all this, we need more funds!

We have a great plan to safeguard the smooth snake – help to make our ambitions a reality and protect heathland wildlife by making a donation to smooth snake conservation…

Donate to help the smooth snake!

We are seeking to raise £35,000 to support our current and future smooth snake conservation projects…

Become a Smooth Snake Friend: donate £100+ and you will receive… Read more

Become a Smooth Snake Champion: donate £1000+ you will receive… Read more

  • ARC Friendship for 5 years
  • A copy of the book Britain’s Reptiles & Amphibians by Howard Inns
  • A Tell Hicks, renowned wildlife artist, limited edition print of your choice
  • A Wildlife Discovery Walk! Guided by one of ARC’s species experts, yourself and three friends will experience the unique and fascinating species found on an internationally important heathland nature reserve in Southern England. 

Become a Smooth Snake Guardian: donate £7000+ and you will receive… Read more

  • Lifetime Friend of ARC + a framed Tell Hicks, renowned wildlife artist, limited edition print of your choice + a copy of the book Britain’s Reptiles & Amphibians by Howard Inns
  • Invitation to ARC Guardians events
  • Opportunity to meet with ARC Trustees
  • VIP Smooth Snake Discovery Tour! You, and up to five of your friends, will be escorted to one of ARC’s flagship nature reserves in Surrey or Dorset. Guided by two of ARC’s reptile experts, you will experience a unique opportunity to encounter the smooth snake within its internationally important lowland heath habitat. Get up-close! - ARC’s organisational protected species licence will allow you to handle and photograph this rare and elusive snake. You may also see other species that share the smooth snake’s heathland home, such as the adder, grass snake, the rare and beautiful sand lizard; interesting insects such as the heath tiger beetle and silver-studded blue butterfly; and bird species of conservation concern, including the nightjar, and Dartford warbler. During the tour, our reptile expert guides will demonstrate how your support is making a difference to conservation. You and your friends will also be treated to a restaurant lunch!

Can your business help ARC through our Corporate Supporters scheme

To donate your time! Find out more about our smooth snake projects and how to get involved via our Snakes in the Heather project page