“Snakes have had a bad press, which is unjustified,” said Danny Udall from the Eastern Moors Partnership, who’s delighted that the Peak District’s north-eastern moorlands are home to one of the most important concentrations of adders in the English uplands.
“The Eastern Moors are a great place to see adders, and although we think there are well over 400 in this area, the fact that they are difficult to spot makes it really special when you do see one.”
Biologist David Carter has been monitoring adder populations for several years, and explained the Eastern Moors careful land management is giving adders the right ground cover to raise young and hibernate.
David said: “Adders are not dangerous. For an average healthy adult, an adder bite is not significantly different to being stung by a wasp or a hornet.”
“The best time and place to see adders is when they’re basking in the sun late in the morning, on rocks or at the edge of vegetation. Snakes can’t hear, but they feel vibrations, so walk gently through grass and heather, and look several yards ahead as most snakes will quietly slither away as you approach.”
As long as people don’t approach adders too closely, and certainly don’t pick them up, the public has nothing to fear from them. Also, be sure to keep dogs on a lead on the moors, since inquisitive dogs can be killed or made very ill from adder bites.
Visit www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk to take part in the ‘Scales and Warts’ survey.