I love basking in the sun on bare sand, however, you will be lucky to spot many of my friends as we are one of the UK’s rarest reptiles.
Females blend in with the sand well as they are a light brown colour with darker spots on their back and, while males have green stripes down their sides. This green gets brighter when they’re ready to mate as it helps them attract females. The females lay their eggs deep in the sand during June and July, and the young hatch a month or two later. Sand lizard area about 20 centimetres long, hibernate through the winter and emerge in the spring to find a mate. They live in burrows which can be up to a metre deep, often hiding the entrance by small plants growing in the sandy soil. A reduction in sandy areas on dunes has decreased the areas of habitat we can live in.
Sand lizards can live for up to 20 years!
Sand lizard are best spotted during the summer months. They sunbathe on warm days on patches of bare sand between April and October. This species has been recorded at our sites at Studland in Devon and on the Sefton Coast.
Creating bare ground and exposing patches of sand by removing some areas of scrub and vegetation gives sand lizards more areas where they can move, bask in the sun, dig their burrows and hibernate over winter.
Projects protecting Sand Lizard
Our work on the Dorset coast is taking place at the beautiful and historic Studland coast, part of the new Purbeck Heaths NNR. The project here is led by National Trust