Sports clubs are being asked to ensure they put any netting away after a grass snake had to be rescued from a mesh fence on Bank Holiday Monday.
A member of the public contacted the RSPCA after spotting the snake unsuccessfully trying to escape in Marden, Hereford.
RSPCA inspector Suzi Smith said: “Thankfully the trapped snake was found by the caller who contacted us.
“Being exposed and unable to get free must have been very distressing so it was great to be able to swiftly cut the wire and watch as the snake slithered off uninjured.”
Grass snakes are completely harmless to humans and pets.They are normally olive green or brown in colour with black bars or spots down the side, often with a yellow and black ‘collar’ which is usually visible behind the head. Occasionally they can be very dark or completely black.
They are the largest British snake and can grow up to 100cm although more commonly measure around 70-90cm. They are also protected from being intentionally killed or injured under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
At this time of year when the weather gets warmer, grass snakes will head to damp, cool places like ponds to manage their internal temperature but can sadly become ensnared in fencing or netting.
The RSPCA is asking the public to please remove sports nets after use and store them safely away. It only takes a few minutes and yet it could save an animal from suffering a horrible death. Where netting can’t be removed, such as pond or fruit netting, they recommend replacing them with solid metal mesh.
If you spot an animal in distress, call the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999 for advice or to request help from an officer.