When you think of snakes, you might picture a fat boa constrictor basking beside a Brazilian river, or a king cobra rearing up from the dust of an Indian plain. Snakes seem too exotic for the often cold, wet and windy weather of the UK. But snakes are adaptable creatures, found on every continent but Antarctica. We actually have three native species in Great Britain, though none are found in Ireland. Legend has it that St. Patrick drove them out, but in fact they never reached Ireland in the first place.
To cope with our harsh winters, all of our snakes go into hibernation for the coldest months, typically from October to March. They emerge in spring, when they can often be seen basking to warm up. Courtship begins and by late summer, young pencil-sized snakes start to appear.