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Slowworms in my compost bin

I haven’t turned my compost heap for a while as I have slowworms residing in it and, of course, I don’t want to damage or hurt them.

Anyone got any ideas?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,126

    I would just leave them alone ... your compost won't come to any harm and if the slow worms are happy then life can't get much better can it image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • cornellycornelly Posts: 968

    You are lucky, I acquired quite a few slowworms a year or two back put them in the compost heap and they disappeared within a few days much to my sorrow.

  • OnopordumOnopordum Posts: 390

    They will be hibernating over winter so that might be the best time to turn the heap. I don't know how likely slow-worms are to hibernate in the heap - we have grass snakes which breed in the heap but never overwinter in it, but slow-worms might be different.

    If it's a small heap and you could dismantle it carefully by hand then you could relocate any slow-worms to a safe place nearby. Sheets of corrugated iron, roofing felt and similar materials are always good for slow-worms (and grass snakes) to bask underneath in safety.

  • cornellycornelly Posts: 968

    No this was a few years back the compost heap has been used and renewed a few times since then.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,126

    You could always seek advice from your local Wildlife Trust ... find out how to contact  them here 


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Bobby BoyBobby Boy Posts: 6

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

    Onopordum, I have some roofing felt and will make a shelter close to the Hostas I have nearby so that they can feast on the slugs. I help them – they help me. A win-win situation!

    Dovefromabove, That’s a good idea, I will contact them.

    I saw some small slowworms last autumn – about four inches long – so I reckoned that they were breeding. I felt quite honoured.

  • OnopordumOnopordum Posts: 390

    If you can put some felt down then pieces 2' x 2' or bigger would be good. Perhaps 18" x 18" minimum. Carpet squares are also meant to be good for slow-worms (less so for other reptiles). Ideally in a sunny location close to good habitat.

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