Reptile habitats

Reptiles prefer warm, sunny habitats, usually on well-drained soils.  In Suffolk they are most abundant on the sandy soils of the Brecks and the Sandlings.  The adder is the most fussy about its habitat and is only rarely found outside these areas.  The common lizard and slow worm are tolerant of a wider range of conditions and may be found in many habitats including grasslands, heathland, scrub, woodland edge, road and rail embankments, sea and river walls, churchyards and brownfield sites.  Common lizards can also be found in quite wet habitats, such as fens.  The grass snake is more mobile than the other species and hence can also be found in less likely habitats where it may only be passing through.

Reptiles can sometimes be found in gardens, especially where these are adjacent to areas of reptile habitat.  Slow worms are the most commonly found in gardens, often living in compost heaps.  Grass snakes are occasional summer visitors to gardens where they may be attracted to ponds in search of amphibian prey, or they may visit compost heaps as potential egg-laying sites.

Relevant factsheets:

Heathland reptiles

Heathland management for reptiles

Habitat piles & mowing techniques