The adder is the only venomous snake that can be found in Norfolk. It mainly inhabits areas of open heath and sand-dunes but can be found in woodland and is particularly active in spring and early summer.
Adders are very shy and retiring creatures that will readily move away from any human presence well before potential contact. Adders will usually only bite if an attempt is made to pick them up but their bite is rarely fatal. If you or somebody with you is bitten it is very important that you stay calm and seek immediate medical attention. If possible the affected body part should be immobilized. Symptoms that may occur include dizziness, vomiting and swelling.
Adder bites can sometimes, though rarely, be fatal to pets and care should be taken when walking dogs through likely habitat particularly in February, March and April when the snakes are recently emerged from hibernation and may be slower to move out of harms way.
It should be stressed that you are very unlikely to encounter an adder and that if you do you should not try to handle or provoke them in any way. Adders are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
. It is an offence to kill, harm or injure them or to sell or trade them in any way.
Picture by Edwin Peace