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Last Updated: Friday, 18 April, 2003, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Walker bitten by snake
The adder is the only poisonous snake indigenous to Britain
People out walking in the countryside are being urged to beware of snakes after a woman was bitten by an adder.

The victim, who had been walking on Leckhampton Hill in Cheltenham, is recovering in hospital.

The adder is the only venomous snake indigenous to the British Isles.

Experts say anyone bitten should keep calm and head for hospital. They should not try to suck out the poison or apply a tourniquet.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said: "Due to the unseasonable warm weather, adders are more active than usual.

"If a person is bitten they should be reassured, kept calm and transferred to hospital, usually by ambulance.

"The bite should not be touched and the affected limb kept immobile.

"Do not suck the wound, do not cut the wound and do not apply bandages or tourniquets," he said.

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