This photograph shows a Garden Snail Helix aspersa found by field club member Clarinda in her garden at Strathan early in May 2012. Although garden snails are almost ubiquitous around human habitation and on ‘waste ground’ in England, they are much scarcer in Scotland where they are almost entirely restricted to the coast. It is readily recognised when adult by its size (over 2.5cm) and broken brown bands following the whorls (although this one does not show the pattern well).
There are a few records from Assynt, where it was noted in the 1990s at Drumbeg, Clashnessie and around Lochinver. However, this may be the first Assynt record this millenium! It is almost certainly regularly re-introduced into Assynt with plants, but it is uncertain whether these introductions last long. There is a very flourishing population, however, further north, in a wall near where the Cape Wrath Ferry leaves from, at Keoldale.
Anyone finding a specimen should take a good quality photograph and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with the date, location and, if possible, a six figure grid reference.