Stay safe

Forest fungi at Norley Wood

Staying safe and healthy

The New Forest National Park is a fabulous place to visit but there are a number of things worth bearing in mind to make sure you and your family stay safe and healthy.

Ticks

Ticks are found in the wooded and grassy areas of the New Forest. They feed on the blood of passing animals including humans and sometimes cause Lyme Disease or Alpha-Gal Allergy. Ticks are most abundant in the late spring and summer.

You can reduce the risk of infection by:

  • keeping to footpaths and avoiding long grass when out walking
  • wearing appropriate clothing in tick-infested areas (a long-sleeved shirt and trousers tucked into your socks)
  • wearing light-coloured fabrics that may help you spot a tick on your clothes
  • using insect repellent on exposed skin
  • inspecting your skin for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, including your head, neck and skin folds (armpits, groin, and waistband) – remove any ticks you find promptly
  • checking your children's head and neck areas, including their scalp
  • making sure ticks are not brought home on your clothes
  • checking that pets do not bring ticks into your home in their fur.

For further information and guidance about ticks, preventing bites and what to do if you are bitten visit NHS direct or the Public Health England website.

Adders

The adder is the only poisonous snake native to Britain. They are not aggressive and will only bite if they are disturbed. For more information visit NHS Direct. If you get bitten go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.

Ponies

Although ponies appear tame and are accustomed to people, they are semi-wild and may bite or kick, so it's sensible to take care and certainly to avoid standing behind them! It is also important not to feed the ponies as this encourages them to congregate on roadsides and in car parks. It may also make them aggressive and they become greedy and demand more food. There is plenty of natural food for them in the Forest.

Leeches

Medicinal leeches are found in water in New Forest so be aware if you go paddling.

Tools

Be tick aware

Information on ticks and where to buy tick removers.

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