Lawrence Hills

Lawrence Hills


I studied an undergraduate degree in Animal Conservation at the University of Greenwich and a master’s degree in Conservation Biology at the University of Kent. Since graduating I have worked in the charitable sector, first as an intern at the Hawk Conservancy Trust and then as a field assistant for the Amphibian and Reptile  Conservation Trust. My latest role was in the private sector where I worked for Temple Ecological Services as an assistant ecologist. My research interests include reptile survey protocols, the impacts of non-native species on UK herpetofauna and the conservation and ecology of amphibians and reptiles.

Lawrence Hills

PhD title: Assessing the ecological impacts of non-native gamebird release on reptiles in the UK.

Britain has a long history of releasing gamebirds into the countryside for the shoot. The number of gamebirds released on shooting estates has been increasing since 1960 and the latest estimate (57 million) for the annual large-scale release of gamebirds exceeds any other gamebird release in Europe or North America.

The increasing number of gamebirds released in the UK has triggered concerns about the ecological impacts of this widespread activity. Concerns have been raised that the numbers and densities of non-native gamebirds are having widespread negative ecological impacts.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that gamebird release may be having a negative impact on UK reptile populations. Recent reviews recommend urgent  research examining the direct impacts of gamebirds on reptiles as information is lacking on the effect of gamebirds and their potentially
detrimental effects on reptile populations. Against a backdrop of native species decline in the UK understanding the impacts of large-scale releases of gamebirds represents a major challenge. There is therefore strong justification for studies that aim to produce empirical evidence on the
relationship between gamebirds and reptiles.


    Hills, L., Lewis, B., Hills, R., 2020. Dorsal stripe polymorphism of Vipera berus in south-east England. The Herpetological Bulletin 26-28.


  • Reptile and Amphibian Working Group 2019. Population status of the adder at national and local levels in the UK. Richard A. Griffiths, Lawrence Hills, Darryn Nash, Emma Gardner, Angela Julian, John Baker.

Other information

I am an active member of Kent Reptile and Amphibian Group. I monitor two reptile sites in Kent and I have recently become involved in the ‘Wilder Blean’ rewilding project where I help to collect baseline reptile data.