Reptiles

Reptiles are found in a wide range of places, from moorland to woodland ridges. Reptiles are fascinating animals but are now very rare, meaning our work to help protect vital habitats has never been so important. Most lay eggs, but some give birth to live young, they live in an array of habitats and are often quite shy.

Help us

We would like to know more information about the habitats of reptiles in Northumberland National Park, and we need your help. If you encounter any of the species described below please click here to help us to map their distribution by filling in our Reptile Survey.

Adder

An adder hiding in the grass

Adder (Vipera berus) is Britain’s only venomous snake. The male is generally grey and the female is brown. Both have a distinctive black zigzag along their back and grow to be, approximately, 40 – 70cm in length.

Adders are protected by law in Great Britain and it is illegal to intentionally kill or injure adders or to trade in them. The adder is the UK`s only venomous snake and while people are rarely bitten inquisitive dogs are more likely to encounter them.

If your dog is bitten or you think it may have been then seek veterinary help immediately. Restrict the dogs movements – carry if possible as this will reduce the venom spreading around the body. Keeping the dog calm and still while travelling to the vet will also help.

Keeping to paths and dogs under close control or on a lead will reduce the likelihood of a bite. If you come across an Adder stand back and keep dogs at a safe distance. 

Slow-Worm

a slow worm

Slow-Worm (Anguis fragilis) is the only other snake-like reptile in this area but is, in fact, a legless lizard. Shiny in appearance, adults are brown to copper colour. Females often with a thin line down their back and dark sides. Approximately 35 – 40cm in length.

Common Lizard

A Common Lizard

Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara) can vary in colour, though usually brown. A fast mover if disturbed while basking in the sun. Approximately 13 – 15cm in length.