A FATHER has spoken of his astonishment at spotting a wild adder in a country park.
Dad-of-two Christoper Macintosh, 29 from Gosport, saw the snake in a field near the Apple Dumpling Bridge in Alver Valley, at the weekend.
Mr Macintosh is walking with his sons Kristopher, eight and Caleb, six, when the snake gets ‘ready to pounce’.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust looked at the footage and told The News the creature was a female adder.
‘As soon as we moved back from it, it went into a big mound of grass that was right next to it,’ Chris said.
‘We also found another one on Monday – I'm guessing that the area is full of them, hiding in plain sight.
‘A lot of people don't know to be fair. I've only known for about a year or so, plus it's a hot spot for dog walkers and small children.’
He believes that the area is ‘full’ of snakes – but says that his two boys weren’t particularly scared.
Chris said: ‘The boys were quite shocked to see one out in the wild.
‘It was definitely a surprise but they handled it really well.’
According to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, grass snakes, adders and smooth snakes can all be found in the region.
A spokeswoman from the trust said that the number of adders in Hampshire is declining.
The spokeswoman said: ‘They [the adders] are locally common but declining in south east Hampshire due to loss and fragmentation of their habitat, heathland and rough grassland.
‘They often bask on sunny banks or tree stumps having just come out of hibernation at this time of year – but more likely to slither away than be seen, so the reader was lucky to capture it on film.’
Mr Macintosh, who works as a foster carer, said social media posts have highlighted incidents in the area which could be linked to the snakes.
He said: ‘There was a post on Facebook the other day about a dog falling ill all of a sudden.
‘The owner took it to the vets and turns out it was bitten by a snake.’