Are we attracting more wild life to the garden since taking up gardening or are we just outside more so we notice the visitors? A bit of both I think. We are certainly improving the plot with wild life in mind: we have added insect hotels; hedgehog boxes and plants for bees and butterflies (birds were already amply catered for!) but we didn't do anything to actively attract a snake!
It was only a young one but wonderfully exciting to see! I named it Oscar ... grass snakes play dead when they sense danger ... his performance was perfect for about twenty minutes. He had obviously seen us first because he was on his back with his mouth open when we spotted him. His eye gave him away as his pupil dilated when the camera flash went off otherwise he stayed completely still even after we walked away. I watched him from a distance for a further five minutes before he decided to make his escape.
He was near the front pond and appears to have been meeting our insect population. An adult grass snake will be 27 - 39 inches in length - this one was about 9 inches. Adults eat frogs, newts and small mammals. They are predated by foxes, badgers, cats and some birds. They have been added to the list of priority species for conservation as their numbers have declined. This is mainly due to a lack of suitable habitat so they are turning to garden ponds more frequently and using compost heaps to lay their eggs.
They are not venomous and they cause no damage to gardens, I hope this one hangs around so we can watch him grow for a while .... 39 inches does seen rather large though so maybe not!