#BeTickAware whilst enjoying Dorset’s countryside

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In recent years, there has been detection of Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus (TBEV) cases across the country, including in Dorset. Ticks can carry other diseases such as Lyme disease. UKHSA is reminding the public to check themselves for ticks after they have been outdoors and remove them promptly and correctly if they are found.

Spending time in nature and enjoying the outdoors with family and friends is great for our wellbeing. Walking and being in nature has a range of health benefits, including improved mood, reduced feelings of anxiety and stress. Being in nature can also help people cope during challenging times.

Dorset has a wealth of greenspaces. Our county has over 40 countryside sites, including two country parks and a National Nature Reserve.

Whilst tick bites can occur at any time of the year, tick activity is at its peak between April and June. Ticks are small arachnids that can carry diseases such as Lyme disease and can be found in woodlands, grasslands, and moorlands. Ticks can also be found in some urban parks and gardens.

We can still enjoy all that Dorset has to offer and making the most of being outdoors in our countryside, but there are some precautions we can take to avoid being bitten.

When outdoors, wear light-coloured protective clothing like long trousers and sleeves, and use insect repellent, especially if you’re planning on walking through long grass. Carrying out a TickCheck on yourself and your pets, for ticks after participating in outdoor activities like walking, running, gardening, camping, and picnicking can help reduce the risk of tick bites.

By being tick aware and taking preventive measures, you can still enjoy the beauty of our Dorset greenspaces without putting yourself and others at risk.