The Wildlife Trust has revealed which snakes live in the UK.

The charity has published a list of guidelines about the type of snakes and slow-worms we could expect to find.

 

A spokesperson said: "In the UK we have three species of snake – grass snake, adder and the very rare smooth snake.

"Grass snakes are the most common and these can sometimes be found in gardens.

Ludlow Advertiser: SNAKE: A grass snake. Pic. Eleanor ReastSNAKE: A grass snake. Pic. Eleanor Reast

"Mature females can be about one metre in length but, as with many species of wildlife, they consider us to be a bigger threat to them than we consider they are to us so they’re likely to disappear before we see them."

Grass snakes have a distinctive yellow collar on the back of their neck with greenish to brown bodies that have black marks along the sides.

Adders are the UK’s only venomous snakes but numbers have been declining steeply for many years and they are only just clinging on in a few areas.

Adders only grow to 50-60cm and can be brown or grey with a diamond pattern down the centre of their back.

Venom is critical to the snake’s survival, as they need it to subdue prey to eat, so they’ll only use it where they feel they have to defend themselves.

Ludlow Advertiser: SAFE: A slow-worm. Pic. Eleanor ReastSAFE: A slow-worm. Pic. Eleanor Reast

Bites can only cause local effects in most cases although some people do react badly; treatment is available.

The spokesperson added: "It’s important to keep dogs on leads when out in open countryside to reduce the risk both to pets and to the snakes too.

"Of course, there is always the chance that an exotic snake has escaped from someone’s private collection and so appropriate caution should always be exercised."

Superficially looking like snakes, slow-worms are actually legless lizards.

Growing to 50cm in length, they’re golden-beige in colour and are usually loved by gardeners and allotment holders as they readily gobble up slugs.

Slow-worms don’t usually bask in the sunshine like snakes so can be even trickier to see.