There are six species of reptiles native to the UK. Dry heathlands are the best natural habitats for British reptiles, but semi-natural areas with heath-like conditions such as railway embankments, sea walls, road verges, churchyards, golf courses and almost any area with a sunny south facing slope and open vegetation may be suitable. Lizards have the ability to 'self amputate' their tails for protection. The process is known as 'autotomy'.
All native reptiles are protected in Britain under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. This protection under law helps counteract the decline of all the species. The Act also protects the rarest reptiles in Britain, the smooth snake and the sand lizard, by making it an offence to possess, handle, capture or disturb them.