Hainault Forest Website

Written and Designed and photographed by Brian Ecott



Grass snake Natrix helvetica
Martin Bell photographed this harmless grass snake near the farmyard in Hainault Forest. They have been swimming in the lake. Their food is plentiful at this time as many young froglets are beginning to leave the water to spend 4 or 5 years growing and reaching maturity before returning to the water. Few of the masses of tadpoles survive predation, particularly in the early stages. Photo Martin Bell    2nd June 2017.

GRASS SNAKE   Photo with insert   Martin Duffield June 2014.


Occasionally seen in the forest ponds and craters, also in the Golf course ponds.

Feed  principally on frogs but take tadpoles, fish, newts and insects.

The GRASS SNAKE,  recognised by its yellow collar, is harmless to humans. Swims with a side to side movement of its body. Its head is held out of the water. Photo: June 1971

GRASS SNAKE  on the heathland. Photo: 4th Sept. 06.

Grass snake June 1993

Head of grass snake, the yellow band on the neck helps with it's identity. It uses its tongue to taste the air and has a forked tongue. Not easy to photograph the tongue.  June 1973.
ADDER or Northern Viper Vipera berus
The Adder or Viper is the UK's only venomous snake. A dark zigzag pattern along the length is a good indicator. Males are darker and blacker marked creatures as opposed to the females and young who are brown. Females give birth to the young as opposed to Grass snakes which lay eggs. Near Wakes Arms, Epping. March 1997.

 Near Wakes Arms, Epping. March 1997.

July 1973

Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara


Photo: June 1971 on the heathland.

COMMON LIZARD  in new glade by the heathland

Photo: 29th April 2007 Sarah White

COMMON LIZARD in hand April 1972

Common lizards are able to shed their tails when escaping predation. The tail regenerates, but is more stumpy, see above..
Sand Lizard Lacerta agilis  

Slow worm Anguis fragilis