Amphibian & Reptile Conservation   Sliding Scales Logo International Year of Biodiversity Logo   [ Random UK Reptile or Amphibian Image ]

The Sliding Scales Campaign

As part of International Year of Biodiversity 2010, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) highlighted the recent declines of reptiles globally, and celebrated the importance of native species to our lives and culture. The "Sliding Scales" campaign brought together the many aspects of ARC's work to promote the conservation of snakes.

In 2009, ARC conducted a preliminary investigation into the public's perception of snakes in the UK on 14,000 people. Some key observations were that:

Over the year ARC attempted to rectify this perception and to increase awareness of snake conservation issues by:

Finding out more about their distribution:

Seen a Snake?

To protect our native snake we need to know exactly where they are. We need your help to build up a more detailed picture of their distribution. Although this highly successful Campaign is now ended, you can still identify and report snakes at the "Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK" website (


You can see a map recording the distribution of the snakes you reported during the campaign here

More research urgently needed!

The ARC Snake Genebank

If you find a snake (or slow-worm) slough anywhere in the UK, please send it to us.  To find out how click here 

Raising Public Awareness:

Identifying Snakes:  it is helpful to know what species of snake there are in Britain and very often people do not know which species they have seen when they encounter one.  Through the Sliding Scales campaign we have produced a poster to help people identify British snakes.  This may be especially important for other people who are being contacted for advice or who are contacted by people concerned about snakes, notably doctors and other health professionals, vets, RSPCA officers, countryside managers, local authority employees, school staff and police officers.  This is available as a download or can requested from ARC. Contact us.

ARC attended various high profile events throughout 2010 to meet members of the public and talk to them about snake conservation in the UK. These included

Reptile Rambles:

Reptile Rambles are guided walks held on various nature reserves around the country that offer the chance to see our elusive reptile species up close, weather permitting. ARC organises and promotes reptile rambles around the country.

In partnership with ARC, Natural England also hold reptile rambles on many of their reserves around the country.

Snake Advice

Dogs 'n' addersAdder

The only venomous snake in the UK is the adder (Vipera berus). Dogs are occasionally bitten by adders; although the bites are painful they are very rarely fatal. Although widespread throughout the UK adders are a protected species and it is illegal to kill or injure them. Follow this link to find out more about how to behave with your dog around this secretive reptile.

Snake Snippets

Click here to see a few snippets of information about snakes.

Snakes Alive!

Chris Dresh (c)
Click here to learn more.

 Natural England
The "Sliding Scales" campaign was supported by Natural England.