Queensferry resident discovers slithery surprise in his garage
A Queensferry resident got a bit of a shock on Friday when an unexpected visitor slithered into his garage – a wild grass snake.
Wildlife enthusiast Martin Bennewith found the snake while prepping his lawnmower for a routine cut.
Martin, a one-time Green party Senedd election candidate, spent a few moments registering the presence of the snake, as did the creature itself.
Despite never having come face-to-face with a wild snake before, he put his knowledge and quick internet research to use to correctly identify the visitor as a grass snake, a non-venomous species native to the UK.
“My initial thoughts were to identify it,” said Martin, “On closer inspection I did not think it was an adder as it didn’t have zig-zag markings on its back, and I noticed the light marking behind its head – and it was this and the internet that helped me identify it as a grass snake.”
Having had a garter snake as a pet in his childhood and recently a leopard gecko, Martin confesses to a mild fascination with reptiles.
“Strangely we were also visited by a common lizard about 6 weeks ago on our decking in the back garden, but I never expected to see a snake in the garage!” he commented.
Martin’s surprise, however, did not override his concern for the snake’s wellbeing. He initially tried to coax the lively reptile into a box to safely move it to the wooded area at the back of his garden. When this approach appeared to stress the snake, he decided to let it find its way out.
“Our garden backs onto a long footpath and drive that runs between a long line of trees that are covered by a tree preservation order, so we are visited by a lot of the local wildlife that reside there, like squirrels and birds – and of course, reptiles!” he said.
For others who might find themselves in similar encounters with protected species, Martin’s advice is clear: “I think the best thing others can do if they find themselves in a similar situation with a reptile on their property is try to ensure they are not in danger.”
“If possible, leave them to make their own way out, and if they are in danger and you can’t safely entice them out, call the RSPCA for advice.”
Believing the snake has since moved on, Martin plans to seal his garage to prevent future unannounced visits.
Earlier this month a corn snake was spotted on the walkway that runs alongside the A494 at Aston Hill.
The snake, which is not venomous, is understood to have escaped from a home in the area.
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