Bask­ing ter­rap­ins a sure sign of spring

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Business Kent Update -

An­other sign of spring but a slightly bizarre one is com­ing across the first ter­rapin sun­ning it­self in the sunshine in the Bri­tish coun­try­side.

At Dun­geness there are a num­ber of Ter­rap­ins in the gravel pits and they can be seen sun­bathing on the edge of the wa­ter, usu­ally in a very quiet part of the lake.

They will try and eat any­thing so in­sects, fish or car­rion are on the menu.

One of the species of ter­rap­ins is the red-eared ter­rapin, which was very pop­u­lar in the 1980s pet trade. New species were brought into this coun­try and then peo­ple have il­le­gally re­leased them when they have be­come too big or smelly in their aquar­i­ums.

To­day we have a mix of sev­eral species of ter­rapin found in the UK and one of the cru­cial el­e­ments of this group is that they are un­able to breed in this coun­try due to the cold win­ters and cli­mate.

How­ever, ter­rap­ins can live for up to 10 years, at least in the wild, and I have seen sev­eral large ter­rap­ins which are the size of a din­ner plate on the Royal Mil­i­tary Canal at West Hythe and at Seabrook, Dym­church , Brook­land, Lydd and Dun­geness over the years.

For more in­for­ma­tion call Owen on 01797 367934 or visit

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Owen Leyshon, Rom­ney Marsh Coun­try­side Part­ner­ship, tele­phone 01797 367934 or log on to

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