Main content

The adder has inspired both fear and awe as Brett Westwood discovers when he traces our relationship with this much misunderstood, venomous and striking-looking secretive snake.

Holding what looks like a television aerial, reptile ecologist Nigel Hand strides across the heath. It may look something out of a science fiction movie, but as Nigel explains to Brett Westwood he is on a serious quest; searching for adders. These adders he has previously caught and fitted with tiny radio transmitters and the aerial is used to track and follow them as he learns more about the behaviour and habits of these much misunderstood snakes. Like Nigel, Brett Westwood has been fascinated by adders since he was a child and as he discovers they have long been the subject of myths and superstitions often attributed with powers of wisdom or a sly nature, giving rise to stories about their ability to hypnotise their prey and swallow their young. But as Brett discovers the truth about our only venomous snake is even more fascinating. Producer Sarah Blunt
Contributors
Jim Foster - Conservation Director at Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
Erica Fudge - Professor of English studies at the University of Strathclyde
Nigel Hand - Reptile Ecologist
Stephanie Hoehl - Professor of Development Psychology at the University of Vienna
Sylvia Sheldon - Naturalist and Adder Recorder
Readers - Elizabeth Counsell and Georgie Glen.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Mon 27 Aug 2018 21:00

Broadcasts

Quiz: Extinct or Not?

Quiz: Extinct or Not?

Which of these species have vanished?

Natural History Heroes

Natural History Heroes

Scientists celebrate the pioneers who inspired their work and lives.

Natural Histories Comedy

Natural Histories Comedy

Humorous perspectives on life from the plants and animals in the series.

10 things we got wrong about dinosaurs

10 things we got wrong about dinosaurs

Dinosaur myths, misconceptions and mysteries.