Reptile Monitoring

Monitoring Grass Snakes on Hampstead Heath

We are pleased to have Grass snakes Natrix helvetica on Hampstead Heath, which likely form the closest significant population to Central London. Grass snakes have declined in the UK and are now a protected species. Working with City of London ecologists, we have created refuges and egg-laying sites as well as improved habitats to encourage population growth.

Crucially, we also monitor the grass snake population on Hampstead Heath to assess their distribution and establish whether our work is having a positive impact on their numbers. Our volunteer Wildlife Monitors have been surveying the population since 2011 by laying out refuges for the snakes and checking them regularly for signs of activity. Volunteers have already gathered hundreds of grass snake records. These have allowed us to build up a database of key areas for the snakes as well as to guide habitat management works and ways in which these reptiles may be protected in the future.

To get involved in our Wildlife Monitoring projects click here.

If you have seen a Grass Snake on the Heath, we would appreciate your record. You can record your sighting here.