Delivery driver 'hissed at' by rare snake on a Derbyshire driveway

The snake was curled up on the driveway Credit: BPM Media

A delivery driver says he 'couldn't believe his eyes' when a snake slithered, moved towards him and hissed as he walked down a customer's driveway in Derbyshire.

Paul Garner was dropping off a package at a house in Heannor near Shipley Park when he spotted what he believed to be a toy snake, but as he went to pick the 'toy' up, he was startled to see it move towards him.

Speaking about the incident, he said: "It was surreal, to be honest, I've never seen a snake in England out of captivity.

"I'm a courier and was delivering a parcel when I noticed it, at first I thought it was rubber, but as I approached it, it slithered and hissed at me."

The snake was found 'curled up' on a driveway Credit: BPM Media

Mr Garner said he believed the snake was an adder, or European viper, a poisonous snake that could pose a risk to people and pets in the area.

However, it is possibly more likely to have been a rare barred grass snake.He is now asking anyone who has any expertise in snakes to try and identify the type of reptile it is.

According to the Woodland Trust, It's not uncommon for adders to be spotted in England, they are usually found in open habitats including heathland, moorland and woodland edges.

It can be quite rare to see an adder though out in the open between October and March as the snake hibernates during the cold winter months.

The Woodland Trust has said that it is common for adders and grass snakes to be mixed up as they look alike.

At first the delivery driver thought it was a toy snake Credit: BPM Media

Karen Hornigold, from the trust, has given a few pointers on how to spot if its an adder or a grass snake: "Adders are clearly distinguished by a dark zigzagging line down their back set against a grey (male) or light brown (female) body.

"They also have a ‘V’ or ‘X’ shaped marking on the head. Adders are venomous, but adder bites are rare and seldom fatal.

"Grass snakes do not have the dark zigzag down their backs like adders, making them easy to tell apart. Grass snakes are grey-green coloured with black bars down their sides and a yellow and black ‘collar’ around the neck.

"They are found throughout England and Wales, but not Scotland. They live close to water as they feed on amphibians and fish, so you might find them near garden ponds. Don’t worry though - grass snakes aren't venomous and are very shy. If cornered they tend to play dead."