native turtles in england

England, with its temperate climate and range of aquatic habitats, is not naturally home to a wide variety of turtles, mainly because turtles are generally more common in warmer climates.

However, there is one native species of turtle that is found in English waters:

European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis)

Also known as the European pond terrapin, this turtle is native to parts of Central and Eastern Europe and is historically recorded in England, though it is currently very rare and considered extinct or nearly extinct in the wild within the UK. They inhabit slow-moving or still water bodies such as ponds, lakes, and marshes.

England has several non-native species that are often found in the wild, due to being released or escaping from captivity. These include:

Two red-eared turtles eat fish

Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Originally from the Americas, this turtle has become invasive in many parts of the world, including England, where it competes with local wildlife for food and habitat.

Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Another North American species, occasionally found in the wild in England, likely from pet releases.

native turtles in Scotland

Scotland, with its cool, often damp climate and varied landscapes including lochs, rivers, and coastal areas, does not naturally support turtle species due to its generally unsuitable environmental conditions for reptiles that thrive in warmer climates.

native turtles in Wales

Wales, like other parts of the United Kingdom, has a climate and environmental conditions that are not typically conducive to a diverse range of native turtle species. The cooler temperatures and limited number of suitable aquatic habitats make it challenging for reptiles that thrive in warmer climates.

native turtles in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland, like other parts of the British Isles, has a temperate maritime climate and a variety of water bodies but does not support any native turtle species due to its relatively cool temperatures and limited suitable habitats for reptiles, particularly those that require warmer conditions.