Success of the North East Wales Sand Lizard Project Continues with Further Re-introduction

Date: 25.09.2013

Type: Biodiversity

A crowd gathers to photograph the stars of the showAt Talacre on the Flintshire coast, 65 sand lizards have been released as part of a long-term conservation project to return this rare reptile to the sand dune system that stretches from Prestatyn to Talacre. Sand lizards became extinct along the North Wales coast in the mid-20th Century, but are being reintroduced to parts of their former range.

The North East Wales Sand Lizard Project is a partnership between Denbighshire and Flintshire County Councils, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and Natural Resources Wales and dates back to 2003 when the first reintroductions of juvenile lizards were made at Presthaven Sands in Flintshire and the following year at Gronant Dunes in Denbighshire.

Three of the juvenile sand lizards in the tank prior to release

The latest release of lizards was on Tuesday 10 September and they were bred in captivity by Chester Zoo and two independent breeders, Ray Lynch and Paul Hudson. All the lizards released were juveniles, born this summer and only a few centimetres long. They will feed on insects for the next few months before going into hibernation for the winter.

Mick Brummage, the local reptile recorder, releasing a lizard

Denbighshire and Flintshire County Councils and volunteers monitor the lizard populations annually and management is carried out to ensure the habitat is in good condition for the lizards.

Lizzy Webster, Biodiversity Officer for Denbighshire County Council added, “We are keen to recruit as many volunteers as possible for both species monitoring and habitat management. Sand lizards are strictly protected by law so we need to ensure our volunteers are properly trained before they can undertake any surveys”.

A lizard on the dunes after release. The lizards quickly found protection in the dense marram grassAnyone interested in volunteering on the project should contact Lizzy on 01824 708263 or email

The sand dunes at Talacre - the lizards’ beautiful new home


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