1. ITV Report

Man with fear of snakes says he found 15 living in back garden

These are the two bite marks which appeared on his hand. Credit: BPM

A gardener says he was confronted by his worst fear, when he discovered 15 snakes in his back garden.

The man, who wants to remain anonymous, claims he also found dozens of snake eggs whilst clearing overgrown grass in his new home near Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire.

He also went to hospital after two purple bite marks began to develop on his hand the following day and by the afternoon he said his hand 'felt like it was on fire'.

Doctors at Boston Pilgrim Hospital confirmed it was possibly a venomous 'dry' snake bite - meaning venom had pierced the skin, but the saliva had not entered his body.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust says adders Credit: ITV News Central

He was given antibiotics for the bite and has since made a full recovery but he admitted it has made him more cautious.

“My biggest fear is snakes – it is my phobia,” he said, “It has made me more cautious and you do worry with the kids around.

“I’m hoping it is because the house we are in has been empty for a while – there probably won’t be as many from now on."

A spokesman for the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust said it was ‘unlikely’ an adder was involved, but said it may have been an escaped exotic pet.

In Lincolnshire, adders are restricted to heathland habitats, often in areas designated as nature reserves, around Market Rasen and Woodhall Spa.

Adders are very rare and we have no confirmed records of them in that area.

There are likely to be grass snakes in the area. Grass snakes readily use gardens and can be seen swimming in ponds (adders do not swim).

The man obviously had a serious reaction to something and we wish him well in his recovery. Other possibilities could be an escaped pet snake or another animal. Although it doesn’t appear to match the pattern of two puncture wounds, many animals will bite if cornered and trapped.

– Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust spokesperson