Venomous adder snake spotted at popular dog walking spot in the South Downs

The snake was spotted by a dog walker on Tuesday. Credit: Gemma Lynn/BPM Media

A large adder snake has been spotted at a popular walking destination in Sussex.

The snake was seen by a dog walker around Mill Hill in Shoreham on Tuesday, February 14.

The local dog walker posted on Facebook to remind fellow dog walkers to stay vigilant and make sure their dogs do not approach the reptiles.

Although not yet spring, the snake was seen basking in the sunshine, which they often do not do until March at the earliest.

According to The Wildlife Trust, adder snakes are relatively stocky snakes that live in woodland, heathland and moorland habitats.

Hunting lizards and small mammals, the snakes usually hibernate from October until the first "warm days" of March, which is when they are often seen basking on logs or hibernating under warm rocks.

The adder is also thought to be the UK's only venomous snake, however its poison is generally considered to be of "little danger to humans" according to The Wildlife Trust.

The adder is also thought to be the UK's only venomous snake. Credit: Gemma Lynn/BPM Media

While their bite may be painful and can cause swelling, with medical attention needing to be sought immediately, the snakes are very unlikely to bite and prefer keeping to themselves.

Although this sighting may be concerning to some, the snakes are unlikely to pose a danger if you leave them alone, with them only usually attacking if they are trodden on or picked up.

They are known for being "secretive" creatures and preferring to hide in undergrowth, rather than confronting and biting humans and animals.

With Mill Hill being a very popular walking spot in West Sussex, people should be aware of the presence of the adders when walking around the area and should make sure not to tread or interfere with the snakes.

Dogs who may be reactive to the snakes may also want to be kept on-lead during the warmer months.