slow-worm (Anguis fragilis)

A legless lizard up to about 0.5m long resembling a small snake. They are not venomous. Slow-worms are a shiny pale pinkish or golden brown. They frequent a variety of more or less open habitats including gardens and allotments, but are killed by domestic cats. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is an offence to kill or injure a slow-worm intentionally.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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