In recent weeks there has been a significant increase in the number of people seeing Adders – Britain’s only native poisonous snake – across Hampshire, with a number of bites being reported; so a warning has been issued to keep children and pets close if one of these reptiles is spotted.

Adders typically only bite if threatened, like being poked at or trodden on and these venomous snakes have been spotted sunbathing during the recent warm weather on commons and woodland across the region but they also visit back gardens. While normally elusive creatures, the cold-blooded animals come out during hotter conditions to warm up, just as we do!

Adders have a grey/brown coloured body, even appearing yellow, with a very distinctive zigzag pattern on their back. Occasionally, adders can be completely black and they can grow to measure around 90 centimetres in length.

It’s easy to mix the Adders up with harmless grass snakes and the less common smooth snake, and it is best for people to keep their distance if they spot one. In the rare event of a bite, seek urgent medical advice for your pet as they can be fatal; however, death from adder bites are extremely rare to people and there hasn’t been a fatality in the UK for more than 30 years.