Grass snakes in your garden. Do not be afraid of them. Help them
Did you hear a strange rustling in the grass or on your rockery? Did you take a look and see a snake, or just catch a glimpse of its front or end? Did you get scared? There was probably nothing to be scared of. Just a grass snake. Grass snake will certainly not cause any harm to you. On the contrary, it is a great garden helper and you should pamper and protect it. Most likely you saw a smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) or even a ringed snake (Natrix natrix), which is rather rare.
Grass snake is a useful but a rare hunter
The population of grass snakes continues to decline. After all, humans have transformed many natural corners into industrialized places. Automotive industries, environmental pollution and various poisons used in agriculture destroy optimal habitats for snakes. But we need snakes because they are hunters and mainly feed on smaller rodents and smaller insects and that is something we should appreciate, especially in gardens. Snake needs the right shelter and if you provide it, they will help you out.
Create the right habitat for them
Snakes are shy creatures and need shelters. Most of the time they will remain hidden in shelters, as they constantly seek an ideal refuge. The more they have, the better they will feel in your garden. A pile of stones or a pile of wood is often enough. Stone or brick walls or rockeries built without a binder, such as mortar, are excellent because various plants are usually planted on them. Dense bushes are also excellent, and very popular with grass snakes. For example, an easily accessible compost pile covered by a thick layer of leaves and twigs is excellent and they can even stay inside there during the winter.
Grass snake pretends to be dead
Sometimes you may see a snake that does not move at all. It basically looks dead but don’t be fooled. You may not find it at the same place after a while. When in danger, grass snakes can perfectly fake death. Most often you meet the smooth snake known as Coronella austriaca. It loves sunbathing in dry places. Grass snakes are also great swimmers. If you are lucky enough you may see ringed snake – Natrix natrix, which, unlike the smooth snake, does not like to live alone…
Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.