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The Adder in Britain

A female adder



The Adder is found in many different habitats and is found throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Heathlands, moors, chalk downland, woodland rides and borders are all favoured by this snake. It can also be found in coastal dunes, cliff-tops, on rough commons, overgrown quarries, field edges and railway embankments. They seem to require undisturbed sunny places usually near some thick cover.

It will occasionally venture into gardens. If you want to learn more about reptiles in gardens click here to see a useful guide produced by Natural England.

The Adder is patchily distributed in Britain, although in some places it is fairly abundant. It is absent from large parts of the country and rare in others.

Click here for a distribution map of the species that can be found on the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) site . For information on the NBN and access to other data visit the NBN website at

Studies have shown that the species is likely to be declining over much of its range in Britain.

Click here to see a recent report published by Natural England on the Status of the adder and slow-worm in England. Another Natural England paper of interest addresses the status of the Adder in Greater London, an area where it was once common but is now rare and threatened.