ARC's Snakes in the Heather Public Engagement and Education Officer, Owain Masters gives an updates from their National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project.

It has been a productive few weeks for Snakes in the Heather – the ARC led project to coordinate conservation of the smooth snake across its range in the UK.

Behind the scenes we have been working on our reptile survey and monitoring programme, planning the logistics and developing the recording app. With spring upon us smooth snakes are emerging from hibernation and we have also been having video calls with our existing Snakes in the Heather survey volunteers to explain plans for the year. We have thought carefully about how to keep our volunteer training safe with the ongoing impacts of COVID. Plans may have been scaled back this year, however, with your continued support we will endeavour to offer wider training in future years of the project, something we are very excited about.

You might recall one of our previous blogs about the development of a digital education offer? Over the last few weeks Owain, Snakes in the Heather Public Engagement and Education Officer, has been busy on video calls, working with schools and community groups to ensure more and more local people have learned about our heathland habitats and reptiles. Highlights include delivering curriculum linked lessons to around 360 primary school aged students during ‘Science week’, discussing skills required to work in conservation with students in Bournemouth University and Edinburgh University and running workshops with a local youth action project.

We are planning for what is sure to be a very important summer for the project, both for surveys and for education and events. We have lots in the pipeline, so, as always, if you would like to be involved or learn more visit

Snakes in the Heather is supported by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

ARC also thanks the Banister Charitable Trust and Love the Forest for generous donations to the Snakes in the Heather project.