Slithery thrills promised at Wetlands grass snake adventure day
Summer holiday activities are taking a slithery turn as the crew from Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) are holding a snake-centred summer event at the Wetland Centre near Llanelli.
The event is taking place on Monday 22 August and as well as offering visitors the chance to find out all about the native Grass Snake, participants will also be able to take part in weaving a giant snake sculpture out of willow.
Ecologist and Nation.Cymru’s nature writer, Tawny Clark is among the team bringing the giant snake sculpture to life and helping to shed light on the only UK snake to lay eggs.
The ARC team hopes that with the help of professional weaver Clare Revera, from Welsh Baskets, it will become an egg-laying site that’ll be the envy of grass snakes everywhere.
Speaking ahead of the event, Tawny said: “Yes, they’re big, sometimes over a metre long. And yes, that may cause a fright – but breathe easy because the beautiful native grass snake is harmless. It’s non-venomous and only eats amphibians.
“Of the three native snake species, adders and smooth snakes give birth to live young, whereas grass snakes lay eggs and are dependent on features like compost heaps or piles of grass clippings to generate enough heat to incubate their eggs.”
With changes in land management and rapidly accelerating habitat loss, suitable egg-laying sites are getting harder to come by. As a result, the grass snake – like many native species – is struggling.
Tawny added: “The good news is, though, there are some really simple ways to help them, starting with coming along to this fantastic event at Llanelli Wetland Centre.
“For those who’ve read my willow dome article you’ll know I’m rather partial to a spot of perhaps too-rustic weaving and will understand how thrilled I am that professional weaver, Clare Revera has accepted the challenge of creating a giant willow grass snake.
“The sculpture will be at the centre of the very special egg-laying site we’ll all be making with help from visitors throughout the day.”
She adds that there will be plenty of practical advice available during the day from Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust’s, Connecting the Dragons team, and from willow weaver Clare, and participants are invited to come “armed with photos of wildlife spotted over the summer and questions for the team.”
You can help them by dropping by anytime during the day and having a go at weaving a piece yourself.
The sculpture site will be out on the reserve along the path to Water Vole City. The building starts at 10:00 am, finishes at 15:00 pm. Included in admission or free for members.
More information about the event and the Wetlands Centre can be found here.
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