Until I moved to Stroud four years ago, I’d never seen a slow worm. Since being here, I’ve seen them four times in four different places. At allotment 1 on Bisley Old Road last year, a slow worm was living under the mesh cover of my carrot bed – fantastic!
I hope these endangered, slug-eating legless lizards continue to thrive in our valleys. Slow worms are legally protected, but cats, their main predator, don’t know that. Hopefully people have more sense than to harm them – some people have a weird reaction to anything that resembles a snake, however harmless the creature is.
When I startled a slow worm in a Summer Street back garden last autumn, it did the unnerving trick of leaving the end of its tail behind – something they can do to confuse predators and aid their escape! The slow worm that I met today (see pic below) was completely calm and just lay there until I’d moved away, then it discretely sloped off to a new hiding place.