A rare reptile has laid her eggs in an Ipswich park. 

Terrapins are a reasonably common sighting at Christchurch Park, where they have lived for several years.

David Dowding, Wildlife and Education Team Leader for Ipswich Borough Council, said: "We've had terrapins in Ipswich for a long time.

"Lots were bought in the 90s after the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film came out.

"The problem is, terrapins keep growing and can live for over 50 years, so when they got too big to have at home people started releasing them into ponds."

Whilst not native to the area, the increasing temperatures mean that they can comfortably live in Suffolk waterways.

Ipswich Star: If the eggs hatch then this is a significant step for the species living in the wild in the UKIf the eggs hatch then this is a significant step for the species living in the wild in the UK (Image: Ipswich Borough Council)

However, recent photos show a terrapin laying eggs in the grass away from the water, which is rare.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA called this incident unusual as, while terrapins have been known to lay eggs in the UK, there are no reports of successful hatching. 

If these eggs hatch, this will be a significant step for wild terrapin growth in the UK.

Mr Dowding said: "I was quite amazed when I heard about the eggs - I've only heard of terrapins breeding in Suffolk once before.

"The hot weather has clearly triggered this behaviour."

However, it is unlikely that the eggs will ever hatch. Terrapin eggs take around 60 days to incubate and need to be kept at a constant temperature of between 24 - 32 degrees Celsius. 

There does seem to be more of the rare reptile about this year, however.

"Is it that there were more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films released in the last few years? Is it that they successfully hatched some eggs during the heat of last summer? We don't know," said Mr Dowding. 

The terrapins can be seen at Christchurch Park.