Smooth Snake

UK Snakes

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UK Snakes

It is rare to encounter a snake problem in the UK. As shy creatures, if you see one, it is likely that they will simply be passing-by as quickly as possible. They tend to avoid contact with people so will steer clear of you and your pets.

Native UK snakes, including Adders and Grass Snakes, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is illegal to kill, injure or sell them.

Problems will need to be dealt with using very specific skills. If you have concerns regarding a snake issue, especially non-native imports we would urge you to contact your local RSPCA centre or Zoo for specialist help and advice.

There are three main snake species that you will encounter in the UK:

  • Adder (common viper)
  • Smooth snake
  • Grass snake

There is a protected lizard species in the UK that is often mistaken for a snake. This legless lizard is known as a Slow worm.

Although most British snakes are harmless with the exception of the Adder which can bite, for your own safety and that of the snake, you should never touch them and whenever possible, please try not to be alarmed. Click here to understand the signs of the presence of snakes.

Snake Species