South Ribble Council dispels rumours of ticks in Strawberry Valley Park

South Ribble Council has issued a statement to worried residents following rumours of children finding ticks in a kids play park in Leyland.

By Emma Downey
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 12:50 pm
Updated Friday, 1st July 2022, 7:28 am

Following concerns on social media the council have now said there have been no reports of ticks being found at Strawberry Valley Park.

One grandmother had alerted others on social media to the dangers of Lyme disease and to be on the lookout for the tiny spider-like blood parasites after she claimed that “a few children that have been in the Bent Lane play area and in the long grass have found ticks on them”.

She said: “Warning! Bent Lane Park. A few children that have been in the play area and in the long grass have found ticks on them.

A tick bite may look like a bullseye on a dartboard.

“It can lead to Lymes Disease and there is no cure yet.”

She also urged dog walkers to check their pets.

"I know Leyland Council want to leave the field for the bees and butterflies but I am sure they could find another area to do this, not where children play and the dog walkers are.

“I checked my granddaughter and I could not see any but until the grass is cut I won't take her there.”

Ticks hide in long grass

Councillor Mick Titherington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Leisure, said: "The Strawberry Valley Park in Leyland is an excellent facility for residents, and we are pleased that it is being used by so many people.

"We have not had any reports of ticks being found on visitors of Strawberry Valley Park nor at any of our locations where we have long grass and meadows. Exposure to ticks always is a potential risk in areas like this, and we'd ask our residents to be mindful of this when enjoying our parks.”

He added: "In an ongoing effort to support wildlife and biodiversity in the borough, there are many areas where we are allowing native wildflowers to grow and the area surrounding the Strawberry Valley Park is one of them.

"It's a balance we have to strike between maintaining our green areas while allowing for wildlife and biodiversity not to be negatively affected. Grass cutting is intended in the area with the grass behind the play area railings and either side of the path that runs from Wrights Fold to railway bridge to be cut this week. The other areas will be cut back once the flowers have bloomed, allowing for the wildlife to get the full benefit.”

Strawberry Valley Park in Leyland where some residents claim children have been bitten by ticks

What are ticks?

Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures that live in woods, areas with long grass, and sometimes in urban parks and gardens found all over the UK.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be spread to humans by infected ticks. It's usually easier to treat if it's diagnosed early.

What are the symptoms?

A circular or oval shape flat or raised rash that can look like a dart board.

flu-like symptoms – such as feeling hot and shivery.

Headaches.

Aching muscles or feeling sick.

The rash may be flat, or slightly raised, and look pink, red or purple when it appears on white skin. It can be harder to see the rash on brown and black skin which may look like a bruise.

Visit your GP if you have concerns.