A slow, slimy problem

The weather this summer has left a lot to be desired, not least for gardeners who are being afflicted by a surge in the snail population.

Cool, wet weather makes perfect breeding conditions for the pests, which can devastate crops in the garden.

The Royal Horticultural Societys Andrew Halstead explained that the problem was particularly prevalent this year.

"They are a problem for gardeners, particularly in the spring when they eat the young shoots and plants that are just starting to grow and are at their most vulnerable," he said.

"By the time you get to late summer the plants have done most of their growing so snails are not so much of a problem."

A number of tactics exist for dealing with the problem, from encouraging wildlife into the garden to constructing physical barriers.

One slightly more off the wall idea is to place a bowl of dog food in the garden as the snails are believed to be attracted to it.