Respecting our rare reptiles

Malvern’s grasslands, heathlands and scrub can be home to one of the UK’s most misunderstood reptile – the Adder.

The numbers of adder, the UK's only venomous snake, are declining and efforts are underway across the West Midlands to conserve the habitats it needs including on the Malvern Hills. The Malvern Hills is one of the last remaining sites in Worcestershire for this declining species.

You may encounter adders from March to October in fair weather. Adders will usually sense you coming and slither away before you know they’re there. An adder bite is a last resort when the adder feels threatened or is harmed – this can be triggered by loose dogs running and rooting around in the undergrowth. To help avoid disturbance of this creature, please keep your dog under close control and in sight at all times. The adder is protected by law and a shy retiring species by nature, therefore please be respectful to the species and it’s habitat by keeping your dogs close and remain on footpaths when visiting this special site.

If your dog has been bitten by an adder or you suspect that it has, take your pet immediately to a vet for treatment.

The Malvern Hills Trust undertakes conservation work every year to benefit reptiles and a wealth of other wildlife too.

Read more about Adders and dogs from Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.

Photo Male adder (c) Nigel Hand