Sunbathing snakes are plaguing a Galashiels golf course.

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Around 30 Adders have been spotted on Ladhope Hill over past couple of weeks.

And warnings have been issued to players and dog-walkers not to approach the venomous hazards.

Over the past couple of years two dogs had to be destroyed following attacks from the golf course snakes.

And this year's early heatwave has seen numbers around the fairways soar.

Dogwalker Bill Jeffrey said: "Over the past week or so I have seen over 30 adders when out with my dog.

"People should be on the lookout for them and stick to the paths.

"The adders do try to get out of the way but they can bite if a dog sniffs or corners them."

It is illegal to kill or harm an adder under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

And local green keepers are helpless in preventing the snakes setting up home around their courses.

Colin Findlay, greenkeeper at Galashiels Golf Club, has been keeping his eye on a family of the snakes around the third hole.

He told us: "Whenever the weather is good they come out and bask on the greens and stoney areas around the course.

"I haven't noticed a significant increase in adders so far although there are quite a few. There are probably more grass snakes this year than adders.

"I've never heard of anyone being bitten by an adder although a couple dogs have been killed over the past few years."

Ladhope's Galashiels Golf Course reduced from 18 holes to 9 holes at the start of this season.

And many of the snakes have been spotted on the now unused part of the course.

The greenkeeper added: "I've never had any bother with the snakes."

Adders are Britain's only venomous snake and prey on small mammals, young birds and frogs.

They can grow up to three-feet in length and has a dark zigzag line along its back.

Wildlife experts from Scottish Natural Heritage, who are carrying out a census on the creatures, advise walkers and golfers to steer clear of adders.

Source :-Border Telegraph

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