'Much higher than usual' number of snake sightings in Bridgend prompts advice from council

The adder is the UK's only venomous snake but its bite is rarely dangerous to humans. Credit: PA Images

A Welsh council has issued advice to visitors and locals after receiving a "much higher number" of calls than usual about snake sightings.

Bridgend County Borough Council said the sightings were particularly prevalent in the Rest Bay area.

It reassured that the incidents mostly involve dogs rather than humans and a full recovery is made in the "vast majority of cases".

It follows new research published in the Clinical Toxicology journal that reveals more people in the UK than ever before are reporting injuries caused by snakebite - although most of these have been caused by snakes kept as pets.

The UK is home to grass snakes and adders, with a bite from the latter being venomous but rarely life-threatening.

Councillor John Spanswick, Cabinet Member for Communities said: “Adders and grass snakes can often be seen at the side of rural paths, and can be identified by their distinct markings – adders have a zig-zag pattern running along their backs, while grass snakes have a distinctive yellow collar and two small black triangles just below their heads.

“The council and its partners have produced a handy guide called ‘Snakes of the Bridgend Coast’ to help people spot snakes and other reptiles within Bridgend County Borough, and which offers advice on what to do if you come across one.

“The best advice for anyone who encounters a snake while out and about is to simply leave them alone, and try not to disturb them.

“All British reptiles are protected under law, and the adder is a species that is considered to be particularly at risk.”   

If you think that you may have been bitten by an adder, the advice is to stay calm and do as little walking as possible. Go directly to A&E or call 999 for assistance and remove any jewellery and watches from the bitten limb.

Never tie a tourniquet or try to cut or suck the venom out.