Reptile Discovery Trail at Studland Bay

A male sand lizard

Did you know that Studland Bay is home to all six of Britain’s native reptile species? That’s why there are six stops on our family friendly Reptile Discovery trail.

Learn more about our reptile residents at each stop. There will also be a fun quiz and a trail sheet to tick off or draw what you see along the way.

  • Adders or vipers are Britain’s only venomous snakes. They rarely attack humans unless cornered however. They sometimes have a distinctive zigzag pattern on their backs.
  • Common lizards are found in a range of habitats and, like adders, are unusual among reptiles in that they ‘give birth’ to live young instead of laying eggs.
  • Grass snakes are the longest snakes in Britain and are sometimes confused with adders, but are completely harmless. They are often found near water.
  • Sand lizards are among Britain’s rarest reptiles. The males are easier to spot because they have green patches on their sides which are brightest in early summer.
  • Slow worms look like snakes but are in fact lizards, though they lack legs. They are much smaller than adders or smooth snakes with a shiny skin. The females are bigger than the males.
  • Smooth snakes are very rare and Studland Bay is one of their most important strongholds. They are more slender than adders and hunt small prey – including sand lizards.

The Reptile Discovery Trail is just one of the ways to enjoy a family day out at Studland Bay this summer.
On the beach you can have a go at slacklining, volleyball or table tennis and there is geocaching in the dunes.