Lyme Disease worry for residents living near neglected Preston field 'full of ticks'

Residents of Avenham are demanding action is taken to spruce up a popular shortcut - claiming they have been attacked by ticks.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 7:11 am

People living in Bank Parade and Avenham Terrace say grass in Oxford Field is around five feet high, having not been cut once in a year.

Bernard Forde, 79, who has lived in Bank Parade for 50 years, said he has had to pull ticks out of his wife Carol’s leg and out of his five year old German Shepherd, Hector. He says they have now stopped using the land because they don’t feel safe.

Mr Forde said: “The grass is four or five feet tall, and the ticks are literally having a field day.

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Bernard and Carol Forde

“Lots of people use that field as a shortcut to other places in Avenham, or to walk their dogs, and now they’re putting themselves at risk of being bitten. It might not sound serious, but ticks can lead to Lyme Disease, which can be very serious.”

Mr Forde said he has “spent hours” on the phone trying to get answers over what is happening to the land, but hasn’t got anywhere.

He added: “Because it looks like nobody is caring for the land, people are now dumping rubbish there, and that’s attracting vermin as well.

“I can’t get anyone to give me an answer on what is going on. Somebody needs to take responsibility, because this is a public health issue, and people ought to know the dangers.”

Bernard and Carol Forde of Bank Parade, Preston

It is thought that the land is jointly owned by United Utilities (UU) and Lancashire County Council (LCC).

A spokesperson for United Utilities said: “We can confirm that while we do own a strip of land at Avenham Park in Preston, we are not the sole or majority landowner.

“While we don’t carry out routine maintenance of this area, we always respond to customer concerns over fly tipping and other issues on our land.

“A member of our grounds maintenance team has already been out to investigate and we are now in the process of considering how to work with the other landowners to resolve these issues.”

Lancashire County Council were unavailable for comment.

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