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New Forest Wildlife - Adders


New Forest Guide

Adders in the New Forest Adders can be found in the New Forest - The Adder is Britains only poisonous species of snake. Fortunately it's not aggressive, and will only bite as a last resort. Although have been no deaths in the UK for over 20 years, you should still treat them with a healthy respect. Many adder bites happen because people pick up and handle the snake!

Most adders can be identified by their distinctive zig-zag pattern in their back. There are some in the New Forest area that stay completely black

Adders eat small mammals such as voles and shrews, frogs, newts and the young of ground nesting birds.

Adders tend to live in areas of dense ground cover, where they can hide from natural predators, but they also need sunny spots for basking. (Adders need to warm their bodies before becoming active). Adders seem to prefer South facing slopes, in order to maximise their access to sunshine.

Adders are difficult to spot because they're extremely shy animals. Although they can't hear, they'll detect vibrations from you walking, and usually will quickly and smoothly slither into cover as soon as you get anywhere near. Adders are often only a foot or so away from deep cover, and they favour remaining in ground which matches their colouration, making them really difficult to spot.

Good places to find adders in the New Forest:-

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