A concerned child raised alarm bells when he saw mysterious eggs in a school sandpit on NSW's mid-north coast.
And it's a good job they did because wildlife volunteers made a hair-raising discovery when they swooped in to investigate.
After three days of digging at the school in Laurieton, the team uncovered seven nests and 43 eggs from the extremely venomous brown snake.
"Even when they are newly-hatched, brown snakes can still be very dangerous to humans," said Yvette Attleir, a Fawna Wildlife Rescue volunteer who participated in the dig.
"The venom is not quite as potent as it would be in an adult snake, but if a child was bitten then they would have to go straight to hospital."
The volunteers visited the sandpit the day the call came in — on December 20 — and removed 12 eggs.
But, that same afternoon, more eggs were discovered buried in another part of the pit.
Attleir said volunteers cordoned off the pit to thoroughly search the area and remove the eggs.
She said the eggs could have hatched within two weeks of the discovery.
"It was a huge sandpit, so it took three mornings of digging to remove all the eggs," she said.
The volunteer believes the nests and eggs could have all been laid by a single brown snake.
She said the snake could have snuck into the sandpit shortly after it was constructed.
"The sand was still fresh and loose and would have provided the perfect place for snakes to regulate the eggs due to the temperature," she said.
"The pit also backs on to a reserve so it would have looked like the perfect nesting place for the snake."
Once the eggs are laid by the mother, the baby snakes are then left to hatch independently.
Despite the shocking discovery, Ms Attleir said there is no need for nearby residents to be overly concerned.
"We live in an area where we are surrounded by a lot of nature, which is wonderful," she said. "Dealing with nature is a natural part of life here."
She added that the eggs were carefully removed and safely placed at an unspecified location.