Helping to save the adder in Scotland

In 2020 ARC secured funding from the R S Macdonald Charitable Trust to promote adder conservation and wellbeing in Scotland. We pledged to provide a number of free outdoor events but unfortunately, the COVID-19 lockdown in March put paid to most of our plans for work involving groups of volunteers.  

Nevertheless, we have found ways to keep promoting adder conservation, including the production of free online training materials. This year ARC has launched a range of new training presentations, including one on adders, called “Species Focus: the adder”.

We have also launched a free adder photo library, as part of our efforts to reduce the impact of disturbance on this species and provide people with a free resource of excellent adder images. There is no charge for using these photos; all we ask is that they are used in a positive way.

Several schools in Scotland completed an art project focusing on adders in the run up to Christmas 2020. Thanks to all the pupils and teachers who took part. The 'adder art' competition winners have been announced and prizes sent out. 

During lockdown, many people have rediscovered forgotten hobbies, such as arts and crafts – why not try making your own adder-inspired T-shirt or mug? There are many websites out there which make this quick and easy to do, provided that you have a fairly good internet connection.

We hope that next year will provide more opportunities for outdoor events and fieldwork, once the COVID-19 vaccination programme has helped to protect us all. In the meantime, take care and keep an eye out for online events via our News & Events pages.

If you have any questions about our adder project in Scotland, please contact our Scottish Project Officer Dr Pete Minting, via email: [email protected]

A bit about adders

The adder is one of many UK species which has suffered a significant decline since the 1970s. It is already thought to have gone extinct in some counties of England and is declining rapidly in Wales and Scotland. Across the UK, the adder now has a very patchy distribution and the remaining populations are vulnerable to persecution and ongoing habitat loss.

The adder is the UK’s only native venomous snake and has suffered from a great deal of persecution. However, this persecution is unnecessary and it is possible to visit the countryside safely, where adders are present, if just a few precautions are taken, as described in leaflets available from ARC (see links below). Please help us to save the adder by learning how to stay safe, helping others to understand why they should be protected and by sending in your adder records to Record Pool.

Download our Adder leaflet:




You can also read our facts and advice on adder bites for more detailed advice.