Worcestershire Terrapins

By John Day

In April 1993 whilst out surveying for the Flora Project in Norton juxta Kempsey SO85V, I sat down on the bank of a pond for a cup of coffee. My attention was drawn to an odd shape on a large fallen trunk within the pond. On inspecting the object through binoculars it turned out to be a (Red Eared) Terrapin about 9" long, sunning itself and appearing quite content.

I was in the area again in August 1999, so decided to revisit the site. Sure enough Terrapin was still there, apparently in the same position on the same log. It seemed somewhat larger. I viewed it from as close as possible to ascertain that it was not nailed down! It was certainly alive and the red ear marks were clearly visible.

So if anyone is keen to assess their Worcestershire status then I would suggest that medium-sized, shaded field ponds with wild service trees and plenty of large fallen timber are targeted for survey. Perhaps they can be encouraged to colonise new sites by the careful placement of suitable dead tree trunks.

I remember hearing of one caught by a fisherman on the Leigh Brook in the early 1980s and know there were some other reports around the same time . Is 6 years a county longevity record?

(Don’t forget - it is against the law and an offence to release terrapins either into your garden or elsewhere! Ed)

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