Walkers urged to be vigilant in Yorkshire Dales after snake bites dog

Flora was bitten by an adder.

Walkers in the Yorkshire Dales have urged to be vigilant after a dog was bitten by a snake.

Flora, a four-year-old cocker spaniel, was bitten by the adder while walking with owner John Brown, near his home in Coverdale.

John said: “I have encountered several adders on the boundary between West Scrafton Moor and Swineside Moor and, separately, between Swineside Moor and Hindlethwaite Moor; both locations in the national park.

“On the last occasion, the adder was hidden and my dog was bitten before we could take evasive action. Fortunately, after veterinary treatment, she has recovered.

Flora was admitted to the veterinary hospital overnight and needed medication for a week.

“I imagine the risk of being bitten is actually relatively low and thus the message is really one of a need for enhanced vigilance,” John added.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said adders were relatively rare in the Yorkshire Dales although more common on the North York Moors.

A spokesperson said they had not received any other reports of recent adder encounters, but advised the public to be vigilant and give the snakes a wide berth if they spotted one.

They added that that the snakes particularly liked moorland with bracken which was a habitat found in the Coverdale area.

Adders, which are Britain’s only venomous snake and can grow up top 60cm, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and must not be killed, injured or sold.

They are very shy and will only attack if threatened.

Very few people have ever been killed by the bite of an adder; however the bite is painful and requires urgent medical attention.


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