Spotted this today while out walking the dog - the picture angle doesn't do it justice its by far the largest snail I have seen in the english countryside.
Initially I thought someone had released one of those giant african land snails though those are even bigger but a quick google suggested Helix Pomatia?
I couldn't find anything about them being recorded locally but we are on the chalk here in North Herts.
I have never seen one before but I will keep an eye out for more locally - quite impressive looking creatures.
It must be a survivor because it was on a strip of land between a major road and a housing estate.
Recently this snail has been under threat in the UK from the increasing trend to 'forage' for your lunch/tea - if folk feel the need to eat snails then try Cornu aspersum aspersum as there never seems to be a shortage of this ubiquitous snail and I am told by those who rate 'mollusc munching' that they are just as good with garlic butter.
Yes - I saw a few news stories on people poaching sackfull's of them for the restaurant trade from their prime breeding areas despite them being a protected species in England.
It's a real shame - my kids loved to see such a giant snail.
Are they really an import by the Romans or just a native species to the UK?