Part of Samphire Hoe's ecosystem
There are 3 native species of reptiles at Samphire Hoe, all protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Let’s go wild

Samphire Hoe is home to 3 native species of reptiles – adder, common lizard and slow worm -, all protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981).

These basking cold-blooded animals, often quite shy, are found in a wide range of places such as sandy heaths, ridges, rocks and grassland at Samphire Hoe. These reptiles are fascinating animals even if often perceived as unwelcome members of the wildlife community. The common lizards are the most abundant of the three species at Samphire Hoe. Adders are more an unusual sight but can be seen crossing paths and roads as they move into the grassland. Slow worms are almost never seen unless specifically looked for.

The three species of reptiles play a vital role in Samphire Hoe’s ecosystem functioning through controlling insect and rodent population numbers.

Samphire Hoe’s three reptile species

Common lizards, the most abundant of the reptiles

Timid, lightning-quick, Common Iizards love basking in the sun and hide on the low fences and wooden signposts at the Hoe.

The Common Adder stokky snakes

Identified through the zigzag and diamond-shaped marking, they are an unusual sight on the Hoe and not dangerous if not provoked.

Slow-worms, the legless and blind lizards

Often mistaken for a snake due to their silvery skin, they spend much of their time hidding beneath rocks or in long grass at Samphire Hoe.


Find out more details on the livestock, sheep and cows which graze on Samphire Hoe's meadows and grassland.

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Other insects

Discover some other insects which can be found on the Hoe such as dragonflies and damselflies and beetles.

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Explore a few of the 380 species of moths which fly around the Hoe at night time.

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