Have you found a snake?

Many people are delighted to spot a snake in their garden - it’s a rare wildlife treat. We recognise that it can be alarming for some, however. Please be assured that there is no reason to worry. The vast majority of snakes that turn up in gardens are entirely harmless to people and pets. Even on the very rare occasions that a venomous snake appears in a garden, the situation can be resolved.

It is most likely that you have seen either a grass snake or a slow-worm (a legless lizard that looks very much like a snake). We can say this confidently, based on thousands of enquiries handled by ARC. Neither species is harmful to people or pets, and it is best to simply leave them alone — you don’t need to do anything. Learning a little more about snakes may put you at ease, and we hope the information here will help. It’s best to start off by identifying the snake.

To help with identification take look at the photo galleries on our snakes information pages. We also have some advice about non-native and escaped pet snakes. If you're still unsure please email us a photo and / or detailed description to [email protected], or post a photo to our Facebook or Twitter. 

Find out more about snakes in gardens in our advice notes below:

 
Identifying Britain’s snakes: a poster to help you decide which kind of snake you’ve spotted Snakes in gardens – Key facts: if you’re short of time, here’s a brief summary
Snakes in gardens – Frequently asked questions: a longer leaflet that answers top snake queries Snakes and garden netting: a guide to help you reduce the chance of snakes getting tangled and dying in netting


Dragons in your Garden encourages gardeners to take simple steps to help out the UK's frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards - many of which are disappearing from the wider countryside.