The common lizard is the UK’s most common and widespread reptile. It is the only reptile native to Ireland. It is found across many habitats including heathland, moorland, woodland and grassland where it can be seen basking in sunny spots. Also known as the viviparous lizard, the species is unusual among reptiles for ‘giving birth’ to live young.
There are 6 species of native amphibian found in the UK; palmate newt, common frog, common/smooth newt, common toad, great crested newt and natterjack toad. Amphibians can live both in and out of the water. The young of these animals are called tadpoles and they live in the water until they start to mature. They have special adaptations which allow them to breathe underwater. When they emerge from the water as adults they are able breathe having lost their specially adapted gills.
4 of these species can be found here at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve.
There are also 6 species of native reptile in the UK; grass snake common lizard, adder, slow worm, smooth snake and sand lizard. Grass snake, common lizard and slow worms are often seen on the reserve….look out for a grass snake swimming in the lakes and on a sunny day you may be lucky enough to spot any of the 3 species warming themselves up on a path, rocks or around our compost heap!
Despite their name and appearance, slow-worms are neither worms nor snakes, but are in fact lizards - they're given away by their ability to shed their tails and blink with their eyelids. They can be found in heathland, tussocky grassland, woodland edges and rides: anywhere they can find invertebrates to eat and a sunny patch in which to sunbathe.
Newts are amphibians, breeding in ponds during the spring and spending most of the rest of the year feeding on invertebrates in woodland, hedgerows and tussocky grassland. They hibernate underground, in tree roots and old walls. The Smooth Newt is also known as the 'Common Newt', and is the species you are most likely to find in your garden pond.
Common Frogs are amphibians, coming to ponds to breed during the spring and spending much of the rest of the year feeding on dry land, in woodland, gardens, hedgerows and tussocky grassland. Frogs are a familiar inhabitant of garden ponds, where they lay their eggs in big clumps of spawn.
Lacerta Zootoca vivipara
Triturus Lissotriton vulgaris