Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Kennet and Avon grass snakes take to the canal to cool down

A lock keeper at a canal in Wiltshire has said he has never seen so many grass snakes swimming in the water during the recent hot weather.

Alan Giddings has worked at Caen Hill on Kennet and Avon canal for almost 36 years and said it was "truly amazing".

He said: "I've never seen them just come across the towpath and plop into the lock."

Oda Dijksterhuis, of the Canal & River Trust, said warm weather had made them "take to the water more than usual".

'Out of undergrowth'

Mr Giddings said it happened over two days during the hot spell at the end of July.

He said: "Normally you don't see them or maybe you'll get a glimpse. But during those two hottest days, they came straight out of the undergrowth.

"I saw five separate snakes - and the size of them. I then filled up the lock with water and opened the lock otherwise it would have been difficult for them to get out."

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