Hibernating Slow worm

On 18th January 2015 I was carrying out some pruning in my Woolaston garden when I saw a torpid slow worm on the ground, out in the open among the pruned branches.

It can only have come from a cut oak branch, the trunk and branch are covered in ivy and honeysuckle, which seems unlikely, although I know slow worms can climb as I once found one (active) in the eaves gutter to a small stone building;
more likely, I had brushed it out from the base of a pampas grass when dragging a branch past.

Torpid slow worm

It was very torpid and had previously lost its tail. I put it deep into a pile of branches, left for invertebrates and other wildlife, where it had some frost protection and should have been safe from cats and foxes.

David Priddis

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