The snake has always been persecuted and probably always will be. The problem comes from a lack of education, scaremongering and from the way they have been portrayed on TV and in the press.
It goes right back to the beginning of time and the serpent is seen as evil in many countries, but also worshiped in others.
Why do people have a fear of these creatures? If a young child with no understanding of the dangers of venomous creatures saw a snake, would they run away, or try and pick it up?
For many years, people have been telling their children that snakes are dangerous. This is correct as some can kill a human being in minuets, but surely we should be educating our children to respect the snake, not fear it.
The UK has one venomous snake, the adder and although this snake is venomous, its venom will only prove fatal if the victim suffers a severe allergic reaction, which is not treated.
The same allergic reaction can be caused from a bee sting, so in reality the adder is about as harmless as a bee.
The snake below is a male adder. I found him near one of my adder hot-spots and he was probably basking on the path when someone came along and decided he had to die!
Probably beaten to death with a stick, he would have suffered a great deal of pain and died a slow death.
The person who killed this snake, did so out of ignorance, as when they saw him the kill instinct kicked in and the snake didn't stand a chance.
They probably thought they had done a good deed, by removing a pest from our forest, but in fact they removed a protected species, which is in decline.
Education is the key to conservation.