Tick Advice when walking in Woodland Areas
You'll have heard the old proverb, 'Ne'er cast a clout till May be out', and while referring to the weather at this time of year, it might equally apply to covering up in the later Spring and Summer/Autumn to help prevent tick bites when walking in the great outdoors, including woodland areas.
As more people are taking to walking in the great outdoors and woodland areas in our current circumstances, it is important to be aware and to prevent tick bites. In recent years, the medical profession and the public are becoming more aware of the risk of Lyme disease, (also known as Lyme borelliosis) which is an infection bacterium that is transmitted by a bite from a tick. Where ticks feed on infected animals such as deer, sheep, goats, cattle, they can pass on the infection to people and domestic animals. Unlike humans and domestic animals, infected wild animals do not seem to show symptoms of Lyme disease.
It is important to be aware, if one is bitten by a tick, the longer the tick has been attached to the skin, the greater the risk of it passing on infection. It appears that ticks need to be attached and to have been feeding for hours for a person to be at risk of an infection. Where a tick is removed as soon as it bites or soon after, then the risk of infection is minimal.
While Lyme disease can be very debilitating, if it is diagnosed in its early stages, it can be treated with antibiotics, and the outlook for the condition is then good. Most people will make a full recovery within a couple of days. Prevention and early detection are therefore critical.
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to take sensible precautions when you are in areas that are known to have a high tick population, such as tucking your trousers into your socks, wearing gaiters, wearing long-sleeved shirts, and using insect repellent and if at all possibly stick to paths.
Some general points to remember about ticks:
- Ticks that may cause Lyme disease can be found in many parts of Ireland.
- High-risk areas include grassy and low vegetation and wooded areas.
- To reduce the risk of being bitten, cover your skin as much as possible, tuck your trousers into your socks, use insect repellent and stick to paths.
- If you are bitten, remove the tick with fine-tipped tweezers or a tick-removal tool.
- Clean the bite with antiseptic or soap and water.
- While the risk of getting ill is generally low, as it is thought that only a small number of ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, remember the preventative measures when you are out hiking.
- Where you've been bitten by a tick and you get flu-like symptoms or a circular red rash, you should visit your Doctor.
Useful websites to look up:
Success reflects sectors abilities
FORESTRY.IE have teamed up with Soil Association Certification to promote their courses here to the forestry community.
In recent years, Ireland has been making significant progress in Forest Certification in the private sector. In 2018, in a major initiative supported by DAFM two Forestry Producer Groups achieved Forest Certification to an international Forest Management Standard, the first such producer groups in Ireland to achieve this recognition. Since then, at least two private forestry companies have successfully achieved Forest Certification.
This November, Ireland will be hosting the International PEFC General Assembly and Certification week which is a first for our country and which will see international delegates participating from around the world. It will give Ireland's forestry sector a significant profile and reflects a sector that has considerable abilities and potential despite the difficulties it currently faces.
Acknowledging these developments, Soil Association have just announced a series of training courses to be held in Ireland in order to facilitate foresters who wish to access accredited training courses in forest certification without having to travel abroad. Soil Association Certification have teamed up with FORESTRY.IE to promote the courses here to the wider forestry community to be held from 24th August - 3rd September 2020.