HomeOperationsEnvironmentSnakes at Seascale

Snakes at Seascale


Passengers travelling through Seascale station in Cumbria might, if they look very carefully, see something rather unusual in the nearby undergrowth.

The UK’s only venomous snakes, adders, have been spotted very close to the station and train operator Northern is calling on customers in the area to be considerate to the reclusive reptiles.

One of just three species of snake found in the UK, adders, otherwise known as vipers, can grow up to 80cm (under three feet) long. They are usually active between March and October and generally hibernate during the winter. They have been seen near to the station in the past few weeks,, but have been regular residents in Seascale in the past few years.

Chris Jackson, Northern.

Northern’s regional director Chris Jackson said: “The railway – together with embankments and the surrounding area – provides some fantastic habitat for the natural world. It’s great to see such wonderful wildlife near to our station, but we need our customers to respect these relatively secretive snakes.”

Recognisable by the distinctive zig-zag pattern along their backs and, if you get close enough, their red eyes, adders are rarely a risk to people and prefer to hide rather than bite either humans or domestic animals.

According to The Wildlife Trusts, an adder bite can be very painful and cause a nasty inflammation, but is really only dangerous to the very young, ill or old. However, if bitten, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Adders can be hard to spot in the undergrowth.

“The snakes are a protected species,” Chris added, “and, though they are fascinating, should be left alone if they do happen to slither onto the station. Don’t approach them or try to pick them up – they may view this as being threatened – instead, give them space and allow them to move on their way.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Rail engineers strike gold in sustainability school

Multidisciplinary engineering business Dyer & Butler has earned Gold level status from the Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS). This is the highest level of membership...

Tunnel operation takes flight with help from a helicopter

Essential work on a tunnel in the Peak District got some help from high places. Helicopters helped airlift construction materials into position as part of...

Rail review author calls for rail fares reform

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan For Rail white paper, has urged for fares reform – arguing there has never been a better...
- Advertisement -

More news

Iconic arrows get a dash of green ahead of environmental summit

The famous National Rail double arrow has turned several shades of green ahead of the COP26 UN climate summit, which takes place in November. The...

Digital signalling for East Coast main line tested on Thameslink

A test of the digital in-cab signalling system ECTS level 2 (European Train Control System) has been carried out successfully using a Govia Thameslink...

Potential union of unions across the Atlantic

In what is a possible world’s first, London-based transport and travel union the TSSA is in talks with America's International Brotherhood of Boilermakers on...