We’re pleased to support the National Wildlife Crime Unit’s “Undisturbed” campaign, which aims to reduce disturbance caused by photography and drones. For more information see: tinyurl.com/nwcudisturb1705

Some species appear to be resilient to disturbance, while others - like the adder - are more vulnerable. Images can help raise awareness of elusive species such as the adder, and photographers can contribute to conservation by reporting their observations. Engaging people with nature is increasingly important and photography is one way to do this. For instance, through the Back from the Brink programme, we’re encouraging people to take photos or video of wildlife that matters to them, and submit their images to our competition (see: naturebftb.co.uk/competition/). Photography can also help with much-needed monitoring and research projects.

We therefore think that restricting disturbance should be balanced with the benefits that photography brings. Yet it's clear that at some sites photography-related disturbance is having a negative impact, particularly on adders.

We ask all photographers to minimise disturbance to wild adders as follows:

  • Don’t handle or prod the snakes
  • Keep your distance
  • Use a long lens
  • Keep visits brief and infrequent
  • Be especially careful to avoid impacts where the adder population is small or declining
  • Don’t attract large numbers of photographers to sensitive sites
  • Be careful to avoid trampling vegetation
  • For anything beyond a quick photo, discuss your plans with the site manager in advance
  • Consider visiting a zoo or wildlife centre (such as forestryengland.uk/new-forest-reptile-centre) instead of disturbing wild adders
  • Use your images and observations to help conservation – visit arc-trust.orgfor more information on how to do this, and in particular consider contributing to the Make the Adder Count (https://www.recordpool.org.uk/make-the-adder-count) monitoring project.

Photo: Taking photos of adders in publicly accessible collections, as here at Wildwood in Kent, is a responsible way of securing high quality images. (Jim Foster/ARC)