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Adder sightings

Adder sightings in SparrowgroveAdder sightings

There have recently been reports of adder sightings  in the parish.

Dave Griffiths, Senior Animal Welfare Officer at Winchester City Council, has provided the following advice:

Q. Is this normal for the time of year?

Yes, it is quite normal to get more sightings of adders at this time of year as they like to bask in the sunshine, especially in the mornings. They hibernate in the Autumn and come out in Spring, although they may come out later if the weather is particularly bad. June and July are usually the most active time for them.

Q. Should the public be worried?

They are not an aggressive snake and will do all they can to avoid people. If they do bite, it is usually because they have been trodden on. Dogs will “investigate” and may get bitten if the snakes can’t avoid them. The bite site will usually swell quite quickly but, as long as you take them to the vet straight away, they will usually recover after treatment.

The VetsNow website has a page on Adder Bites in Dogs which includes the following advice:

Seek veterinary attention quickly if your dog is bitten. Carry your dog (rather than allow him to walk) to try and reduce the spread of venom around his body. Bathe the wound in cold water to help control the swelling and keep your dog quiet and warm as you transport him to the veterinary hospital.


Forestry Commission

Adders are relatively common in areas of rough, open countryside and  in woodland edge habitats.

Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK

Usually found in open heathland in the southern regions, they also often occur in dense woodland and in particular open areas within wooded regions, where sunny patches occur.

There are also notes about identification, and how to distinguish adders from similar-looking species.


Amphibians, reptiles and the law. This page gives information about the protection for adders and other native British reptiles and amphibians under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.