We are often asked if we have any reptiles on Ramsey. The answer is that we do have Common Lizards and these are often seen basking on the footpaths, especially in the southern heath-land. We also have a writhing mass of Slow worms (legless lizards) in the farmhouse garden compost bin and many in the longer grass around the farm. But we don't have any snakes. Despite what looks like perfect habitat for adders, they have never been recorded on the island.
However, just a mile across Ramsey Sound on the mainland, you may see adders basking in the open. At this time of year adders become more active and are more likely to be seen along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path where there is heath-land (heather and gorse), or in sand dunes.
We have received the advice below from Dr Sam Langdon, Pembrokeshire Adder Coordinator for ARG UK that we'd like to share. Amphibian and Reptile Groups of UK (ARG UK) is a registered charity committed to the conservation of native amphibians and reptiles and their natural environment by supporting the development of a network of independent volunteer amphibian and reptile groups (ARGs)
"Adders are very timid and are in real danger of becoming extinct in the UK if we don’t do something to help them. However, we receive a lot of enquiries about adders at this time of year from concerned walkers, dog owners and beach visitors, so we wanted to share some useful information here"
1. Please do not disturb adders – If they are disturbed, they may bite and this can be very painful. Step back, give them space, admire their beauty and then leave them in peace. Please record your sighting here: https://www.recordpool.org.uk
2. Keep your dog on a lead in dense heath-land where there is a lot of gorse.
3. Never touch or pick up an adder. If you find a stranded adder on a beach, please give it space to find its own way back into the dunes.
4. If you suspect you have been bitten, stay calm and seek prompt medical assistance.
5. If a dog is bitten, please seek immediate veterinary care.
Sam's project aims to raise awareness of adders throughout Pembrokeshire. If you would like to find out more about adders and what you can do to help, please follow the Facebook page and get in touch!