Deadliest snake attacks in the UK as venomous slippery snakes stir for summer

Britain's snakes are waking up as the country warms up for the summer.

Slithering silently across soggy soil, the cold-blooded reptile prefers the sunny weather and normally hibernates underground from October to March, but warmer weather means they can be seen from all year round.

Dog owners in the Lake District were warned about emerging snakes in April this year and 82% of snakebites occur in the UK between April and September, according to data gathered by Pet Keen. A dog in Scotland was also bitten earlier this month.

The reality is that though our slippery friends appear to be becoming more commonly seen, they still face threats to their population and the population of Britain's deadliest snake is said to be struggling.

They also invite shudders from Brits, 52% of whom confess to being scared of the legless reptiles.

So what are the worst snake attacks in the country and should we be worried about them?

What are the UK's worst snake attacks?

Snake attacks in the UK are actually very rare and there is only one type of venomous snake in the country.

The last recorded death from a snake bite in the UK was 50 years ago in 1972, hardly a worrying death rate.

In fact, bee stings and wasps have been found to be more dangerous in the UK since the last death at the hands of the European adder.

Just 14 people were recorded to have died from an adder bite in the last 175 years.

Snakes are shy by nature and usually slither on by undetected, but can bite people if they are disturbed. Around 100 adder bites are reported in the country every year.

The NHS explained that most people with a bite need to stay in hospital for 24 hours afterwards.

It said: "The bite will be cleaned and bandaged. You may be given an injection to help protect you from tetanus.

"If you were bitten by a poisonous (venomous) snake you will be treated with a medicine to fight the venom. This is given through a thin tube into a vein, called a drip."

Are there deadly snakes in the UK?

There are deadly snakes in the UK, as the European adder is venomous, but bites do not usually kill.

Reptile expert Patrick Campbell at the National History Museum said: "Generally speaking with the adder, you're not going to die from a bite.

"The bites tend to occur on the feet and ankles because people are exploring woodlands or heathland habitats and disturb them whilst walking. It's a defence mechanism – they're not going to come out and attack humans just for the sake of it."

The adder is one of three types native to the country and the other two – grass snakes and smooth snakes – do not have poisonous bites.

A foreign snake species, the Aesculapian rat snake, can reach up to 6ft in length and is given its name for its liking for devouring rats.

The rat snake lives in a colony in North Wales after it was brought over during the 1960s, though others have been reported in London and Bridgend.

Rat snakes like to live close to human areas as rats are often found near high populations of people.

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