It’s the time of year again when the weather is getting warmer, days are getting longer and its time to start exploring the outdoors again! Walks in the countryside are fantastic for our mental wellbeing and physical fitness, it is also the time when reptiles are active again too.
Few people realise that the UK is home to several species of snake, one particular species the adder is commonly spotted in North Yorkshire, but as they are our only native venomous snake they aren’t loved by everybody.
In fact, historically, adders have been heavily persecuted and remain in decline across 90% of their range. Though Yorkshire remains a stronghold for the species, with favourite habitats such as heathland and wooded valleys found in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. Conservation efforts by Froglife in the area help raise awareness and educate people that adders need a bit of love, but a lot of respect too.
Only around 50 people are bitten by adders each year, usually because they provoked the adder while trying to get a better view. The vast majority of cases. If you do find an adder, it is great to get excited but give the adder some space while you take your photo and move on (upload it to Dragon Finder after of course!). Adders are in fact a greater threat towards dogs that enjoy playing in long grass where adders may be resting, with 100 dogs bitten each year by adders. Froglife recommends keeping your dog on a lead if adders could be present. If the worst does happen, adder bites can be treated with antihistamines and pain killers but prevention is better than cure.
Everybody enjoys spending time outdoors, dogs included but wildlife also needs to be respected. So enjoy the Yorkshire countryside this Spring and send your reptile records to us as well so we can better protect them!