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Walkers reminded of adder danger

Posted 25 May 2012
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Walkers reminded of adder danger
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Britain is a hugely popular choice for walking holidays. It has numerous national parks, wildly varying landscapes and routes suitable for all abilities. But another important factor is that the UK's national parks are relatively safe places to enjoy a holiday.

Of course there are always risks inherent in any outdoor activity and complacency can be extremely dangerous, but generally with a good pair of walking boots, some map reading skills, a compass and an understanding of your limitations and walking is very safe indeed.

As mentioned above, however, being complacent can be risky and it is better to know the risks involved, which is why the National Poisons Information Service has reminded ramblers of the dangers of being bitten by poisonous adders while walking in certain parts of the UK during the summer months. While the odds of being bitten are small, being aware of the risks - and what to do if bitten - can offer peace of mind.

Professor Simon Thomas, director of NPIS Newcastle, said: "Adder numbers have decreased in recent years so they are rare but still present in certain areas."

"The bite can have very nasty effects, especially in smaller children - so it's best to take care when out walking, wear appropriate footwear for the terrain and do not handle any snakes," he added.

Professor Thomas noted that people sometimes mistake the adder for its benign relative the grass snake. Therefore, people who go walking and encounter a snake should avoid contact and if they or a member of their group is bitten, they should seek medical attention immediately.

Earlier this year, walkers in the Peak District were warned about the dangers of moorland fires after a protracted dry spell. As summer gets into full swing, walkers can expect more fire warnings to be issued by national park authorities and rambling groups.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801371854-ADNFCR