Basking terrapins a sure sign of spring
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 www.rmcp.co.uk
For more information contact Owen Leyshon, Romney Marsh Countryside Partnership, telephone 01797 367934 or log on to www.rmcp.co.uk