Nature Champions: Adder

(c) Matt Wilson

This little snake has a zig-zag pattern down its back. They rarely exceed 60cm in length and can be found around patches of woodland and on heathland. Males are usually grey, females and juveniles are brown. Adders are the UK’s only venomous snake. They are widespread across Scotland but in many areas populations are disappearing, contributing to a worrying national decline.

Action Needed

  • Work for better habitat management to create and restore habitats to suitable conditions.
  • Improve planning processes to take better account of Adder presence at early stages.
  • Support increased surveying and monitoring.
  • Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is fully implemented.


Development and agricultural intensification, loss of habitat, human persecution and increased human disturbance, loss of suitable habitat due to inappropriate management practices and afforestation.

MSP Nature Champion

Martin Whitfield

Member for: South Scotland

Region: South of Scotland

Party: Scottish Labour Party

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