Adder warning in Norfolk as venomous snakes come out of hibernation
Dog walkers and parents of small children have been been warned to be on the lookout for Britain's only venomous snake.
The creatures are emerging from hibernation as the weather warms which will see more of them in popular walking spots.
The adder's natural habitats are mostly grassland, heathland and moorland, woods and coastal areas, which make Norfolk's low-lying geography and extensive coastline ideal conditions for breeding.
READ MORE: Adder warning in coastal areas as snakes come out to bask
According to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, adder bites are of little danger to adults, causing inflammation and pain, but can be dangerous to the very young, ill or old.
In April of last year, an eight-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after being bitten by an adder in Hemsby which saw his hand turn "purple".
The boy's mother said she had no idea there were venomous snakes in the UK and more needs to be done to inform residents and holidaymakers.
Helen Baczkowska, Norfolk Wildlife Trust's nature recovery manager, said: "At this time of year adders are emerging from hibernation and can be sleepy and slower to move and are likely to be found on the edges of scrub and gorse where they hibernate.
"Adders will rarely bite unless provoked but this can be accidental.
"Dogs can be at risk as they are naturally inquisitive and can inadvertently find themselves in the adders' preferred habitat.
"We'd advise dog owners to keep their pets on the path or under close control in areas where adders are likely to be found.
READ MORE: Swan injured in freak boat accident on the Norfolk Broads
A north Norfolk veterinarian previously said: "If your dog is bitten don’t panic.
"Restrict the dog from walking as this may help spread the venom around the area or further into the bloodstream.
"Call the vets to let them know you are on your way.
"Do not wait and see how they react at home and do not administer any medications without speaking to the vet first as this may cause more harm."