Britain's rarest reptile, the smooth snake, is only found in a handful of southern English counties. Heathland loss during the 20th century has seen them disappear from whole counties such as Devon. However, a project coordinated by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) has been reintroducing smooth snakes to a heathland nature reserve in Devon.
The first snakes were released in 2009, and early monitoring results show that animals have successfully hibernated and re-emerged this spring. Nick Moulton from ARC said this was very encouraging, particularly after such a hard winter. Further releases are taking place today to bolster the population. You can see a BBC report with footage of the snakes being released here.