I have found a number of slow-worms in my compost heap, as I understand it they are quite useful in the garden where they eat slugs and other pests,what should I do with them?
Slow-worms are snake-like lizards, usually about 300mm (12") long, and they are indeed a gardener's friends as they feed mainly on slugs and snails.
The slow-worm hibernates from October until early spring.
If you think the slow-worms are actually hibernating in your compost heap you may prefer to leave spreading the compost until they emerge in the spring.
They spend a lot of its time underground or amongst vegetation.
Quite often they will make a burrow in soft earth, leaf litter or among grass roots.
Slow-worms can often be found coiled up in compost heaps during the summer, and in autumn pregnant females may be found sunning themselves on top of compost heaps.
They tend to be quite secretive during the day, emerging to feed at night.
Preferred hiding places include: under flat stones, slates, old iron sheets etc.
So some good ground-covering vegetation, leaf litter and some large flat stones should help encourage them.