GARDENERS are being urged to replace garden netting with safer, solid metal mesh after a grass snake died after being found tangled in netting in Chippenham.

The RSPCA was called to help by a gardener after the snake was unable to escape the tangle. Inspector Steph Daly, said: “This poor grass snake had become trapped in fruit netting, which had caused a prolapse. Sadly, the snake didn’t survive but we hope to use this as an opportunity to highlight the dangers garden netting poses to wildlife.

“We do get called to a lot of incidents where wildlife have got themselves caught in netting and suffer fatal injuries from struggling to get themselves free.”

Grass snakes are good swimmers, which is why they are commonly found near ponds, streams and lakes. They will try to slither through the netting in search of food such as frogs, toads or fish.

If you spot an animal in distress, call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.