When working on the plot this week I stumbled upon quite a pleasing sight. It appears that my plot is inhabited by slow worms. I often write about beneficial garden insects and animals, including my tortoise and rabbit who act as weed disposal, but I never thought I would be writing about beneficial native reptiles in the garden. I don't have anything against reptiles to be honest, hence my pet tortoise and years of keeping pet snakes, but I know that many people cannot bear to be near them and would find one in such close proximity quite off putting. I guess that is where the term beneficial plays a part as they are actually quite invaluable in the garden.
These small lizards, yes lizards, eat slugs and many other garden pests or insects. To help encourage slow worms on the plot or in the garden it is good practice to leave pieces of corrugated metal and black polythene on the ground under which they will shelter and absorb heat, which they need to function. Slow worms are also a protected species and are included in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
If you have these beautiful and helpful creatures in your garden or allotment please encourage them and afford them a little spot of shelter. After all they will help control slugs and are completely harmless.