If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

08 August, 2010

Garden Snail (Helix aspersa)

The most common snail in gardens is, not surprisingly, called the Garden Snail. Not a popular garden resident with keen horticulturists but popular with Song Thrushes!

Although not the most popular if creatures we all learn about them at junior school, how they carry their homes on their back and in winter how they seal over the entrance whilst they sleep soundly inside.

The frequency of snails is not down to the abundance of food. They need calcium to form their shells and so are more common in chalk and limestone soil areas. They also have problems crossing sandy soil so are rarely found in such environments.

The Garden Snail is unpopular with gardeners for good reason, being very fond low growing fruit and vegetables.

They tend to be most active at night and spend the day behind flower pots and other sheltered places. It is apparently true that if you mark them and follow their movements that they will return to the same sheltered spot every morning after a night on the rampage amongst your plants.