Home » Watch out – There’s a venomous adder about! 
Community Farming Health Pembrokeshire West Wales

Watch out – There’s a venomous adder about! 

They may have virtually disappeared from much of central England and Wales, but here in Pembrokeshire the adder remains a firm resident in our countryside. 

And as the temperatures start to rise, they can often be seen basking in the sun, particularly around the heathlands near our coast. 

The adder is the UK’s only venomous snake, but while their bites can be painful and cause inflammation to the skin, they’re generally of little danger to humans. However, children and the elderly are naturally more at risk.

When walking dogs through areas which could contain adders, it’s important to always keep them on a lead. 

If you suffer an adder bite, always seek medical attention. 

The adder is a relatively small, stocky little reptile that prefers woodland, heathland and moorland habitats. It’s greyish in colour with a dark and very distinct zig-zag pattern down its back and has red eyes. Males tend to be more silver-grey in colour while the females are light or reddish brown. 

They hunt lizards and small mammals as well as ground-nesting birds such as skylarks and the meadow pipit. 

This time of year, they perform a ‘dance’ during which they duel each other to fend off competition to mate.

Females incubate their eggs internally and give birth to between three and 20 young.

They hibernate from October and emerge in the first warm days of March which is the easiest time of the year to find them basking on a log or under a warm rock. 

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