Smooth snakes are extremely rare in this country and you are unlikely to see one. They live only in a few isolated areas of heathland in Southern England.

Daily Life

Smooth snakes are active during the day, and spend most of their time either basking in the sun or lying in water. They are slow moving and rather secretive. They are also extremely rare in this country, so you are unlikely to see one. They live only in a few isolated areas of heathland in Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey, Wiltshire and Sussex.

Smooth snakes are constrictors, and grip their prey in their mouths whilst wrapping their coils around their bodies to suppress struggling. If threatened, they will bite readily, and tend to hang on. They also produce a foul-smelling substance from their anal glands as a means of defence. Their bite, though painful is not poisonous, and they will tame readily once their initial fear has been overcome.

Threats to the smooth snake. In this country, habitat destruction is a serious threat to the smooth snake. Areas of heathland are being destroyed to make way for the building of houses, and where this is happening, smooth snakes are dying out. Additional dangers come from areas where housing is near heathland, as the snakes are vulnerable to attacks by domestic cats and people.

Smooth snakes are now fully protected in this country under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and their habitat is protected under European law.

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