ARC’s Connecting the Dragons Project Officer, Mark Barber updates us on how the team have been working hard across South Wales to raise awareness of adders in a positive way.

Adder numbers are declining across the UK including South Wales. As well as habitat loss and fragmentation, persecution of adders, the UK’s only venomous snake, by humans is an important issue to tackle. This fear usually comes from misleading information and historic prejudice and the best way to ease it is to help people understand these beautiful animals and educate the public about how to share our wild places with adders safely.

As well as producing our new Adam the Adder leaflets and posters, and working with television presenters, and ARC patrons, Chris Packham and Iolo Williams to create a new fun and informative animated adder guide, the team have ensured that eighty bilingual weatherproof A4 adder signs have been delivered to partners across Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Swansea, Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan. We hope this will inform the local community about adders, encourage behaviour change and help to reduce the chances of adder bites on humans and dogs.

Pull up banners featuring Adam the Adder have also been placed at suitable locations across South Wales. Lydia Harris, the University of South Wales student who created the character and leaflet design for this campaign, was so excited to see Adam in real life she visited one of the banners at The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales’ Parc Slip nature reserve!

We have also been facilitating a Pembrokeshire Coast National Park adder radio tracking project in collaboration with Pembrokeshire Amphibian and Reptile Group and with expert input from herpetologist Nigel Hand. This is a brilliant project which aims to understand how adders are using the landscape and this can then influence how the land is managed with adders in mind. It is also a great way for volunteers and partner staff to get enthused about this species and have an insight into the adders life.

If you would like to find out more about Connecting the Dragons or how to get involved please visit our project page.

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