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Community Success!

We’re so excited that Out to the Woods CIC has officially launched their new website and announced they will be taking bookings from autumn 2021!

Out to the Woods is a Community Interest Forest School based in Kent which helps connect local people with nature to improve well-being and resilience. It is set in beautiful, ancient woodland in Bicknor.

Out to the Woods will run classes for children and adults, with particular focus on helping those with mental health issues and people living with dementia. They will also be offering special classes for key workers.

They are also collaborating with a number of local partners, including the Kent Downs AONB Experience to offer bespoke immersive experiences for visitors to the county to enjoy.  

Sunita, who is founder and Director of Out to the Woods, is a primary school teacher and, somehow, manages to run a Forest School in her spare time! She’s been working tirelessly behind the scenes over the last few months to bring the local community in Kent together.

This an amazing achievement and an absolute asset to the local area and we feel honoured to have been able to watch this project develop and support the work they have done.

Like us, Out to the Woods feels passionately about tick prevention and we would like to thank them for helping to raise awareness about this important issue.

Congratulations to Sunita and the team, what an amazing project!

For more information, visit www.outtothewoods.com 

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Happy Campers!

We are absolutely delighted to feature in ‘The beginner’s guide to camping’ in the July edition of Families Chiltern!

Families Chiltern magazine is an essential read for parents, giving trusted advice, ideas and activities for the whole family. 

The magazine has been published for over 16 years and offers parents great articles on parenting, education, childcare, family health and travel.

With many families looking to holiday in the UK again this year, Families Chiltern has produced this bite-size guide for parents looking to camp for the first time. Planning your camping trip can be a daunting task and so the article sets out some essential do’s and don’ts!

They’ve also asked readers for their top tips! Our favourite has to be – pack a bottle of wine at the top of your bag and unpack this first to ensure fewer arguments while putting up the tent!

So, whether you are camping or glamping this summer, why not impress your friends by doing your research and read this handy guide (page 27) before you set off…

On a more serious note, tick numbers are on the rise in the UK and we are currently in high tick season. Ticks are small, spider like creatures which feed on the blood of animals and humans.

Ticks lurk in vegetation and wait for potential hosts (i.e. us!) to feed on. During this feeding process, ticks can transmit bacterial infections, like Lyme disease and cause Alpha-Gal allergy – which is a serious red meat allergy. If Lyme disease is not treated quickly, it can be life changing. For more information, read our ‘What you need to know’ page.

It is a common misconception that infected ticks are mainly in the South of England and Scottish Highlands. Ticks thrive in any area where there is dense ground vegetation (like woodlands) but can also be found in urban parks and back gardens.

According to The Big Tick Project (a national survey and awareness campaign) almost the entire UK poses a tick risk, with many staycation destinations in the UK now designated as high risk. You can view the interactive map here to find out about your local area.

Public Health England advises that people incorporate a repellent into their daily routines whenever spending time outdoors to guard against the risk of tick bites.

We recommend using Botanic Protect tick repellent whenever your family is doing outdoor activities, including camping.

Botanic Protect tick repellent is:

  • Effective against ticks
  • Suitable for children of all ages (from 6 months old)
  • Scientifically proven and DEET-free
  • Biodegradable formula
  • Manufactured in the UK

For more information or to buy, please visit our shop.

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Into the wilderness!

We’ve been working closely with Korpi Forest School, in South East England, to help raise awareness about the importance of Forest School leaders and their groups being ‘tick aware’ while learning outdoors.

This month we caught up with Jen Pearson-Young, who is Managing Director and Level 3 Forest School Leader at Korpi Forest School, to find out more about her Forest School journey.

You can read the full interview here.

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We “live in fear of Lyme” disease

American actor, Alec Baldwin, has spoken out again recently about his experience of Lyme disease.

The 63 year old has been battling with Lyme disease for the last 20 years after being bitten several times by ticks. He said that the Hamptons, where he lives, has plenty of forests and fields and is like “tick central”. He and his family “live in fear of Lyme disease”.

He describes how his symptoms came on one August when he was in his forties, “like someone snapped their fingers and put a spell on me.” He says that it just attacks him, he gets “inexplicable” joint pain and ends up spending days in bed.

Alec reflects on the fact that he and his wife want their 6 children to make the most of time outdoors but the risk in his area is so great that they can’t do as much as they’d like. Alec’s wife has said that she is “pulling ticks off the kids all year long” and he wishes they did not have to spend everyday “going over them with a magnifying glass to make sure they don’t have any ticks on their body”.

Alec has noted that ticks are particularly active when they have a mild winter (which might explain why ticks are adapting so well to life in the UK).

Alec has worked with Lyme disease charities in the US to help raise money for more research. Lyme disease is a much bigger problem in the US with approximately 300,000 new cases a year. Although the UK has a much lower number of cases, the problem is on the rise and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Lyme disease is now the fastest spreading and most common vector borne disease in Europe.

For more information about Lyme disease and ticks, click here.

The WHO’s findings certainly support our experience that tick activity in the UK is increasing. We are getting reports of ticks from all over the country and that they are more active than this time last year! Recent research from the Universities of Glasgow and Liverpool has confirmed that ticks are adapting to survive in all types of habitats in the UK, not just wooded areas.

So, when it comes to ticks, prevention is key! Here are our tops tips:

Top tick tips!

  • Stick to clearly defined paths
  • Wear light coloured clothing so ticks can be spotted easily and brushed off
  • Wear trousers, long sleeve tops and boots, whenever possible
  • Spray Botanic Protect on all areas of exposed skin
  • Use a picnic blanket or mat when sitting on grass (preferably without a pile)
  • Carry out regular tick checks
  • Keep a tick removal tool in the house or in your bag
  • Stay up to date with your pet tick treatments

If you would like to know more about ticks, visit our ‘case studies’ page here.

*Source, People.com, “Alec Baldwin on Dealing with Years of Lyme Disease Pain”, by Julie Mazziotta 09.06.21

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Was it really 4 years ago?

As Lyme Disease Awareness Month 2021 is coming towards an end, we wanted to share this interview which Matt Dawson gave to Channel 5 News in 2017. The former England Rugby Captain contracted Lyme disease after a trip to Richmond Park in London and had to undergo several heart operations.

The points he makes about Lyme disease and tick prevention in this interview are as relevant today, as they were 4 years ago and it’s well worth a watch.

You can view the full interview here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZJzVEKf3qQ

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Teaming up with walkers!

We are very excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with WALX, the nationwide walking club, and Nordic Walking UK to make Botanic Protect tick repellent available to their members this summer!

WALX and Nordic Walking UK are doing their bit for Lyme Disease Awareness Month and have both published the blog, ‘Time is ticking’ highlighting the importance of walkers being ‘tick aware’ whilst enjoying time outdoors. You can read the full blogs here and here.

It smells utterly delicious so won’t make other humans avoid you as well as ticks!

Time is ticking, WALX

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What Everyone Should Know

This is an amazing video titled ‘What everyone should know about Lyme disease’ which was released this Bank Holiday weekend to coincide with Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

The video was made with the help of the Caudwell Lyme Co Charity and features Bunny Guinness, who is an award winning landscape and garden designer, and columnist at The Telegraph. She contracted Lyme disease a few years ago.

In the video, Bunny summarises all the key information which you need to know about Lyme disease and tick prevention and is a must view!

The video has already had over 7k views and counting..!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLxFoTtvPuw05vZmTsowadQ

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Lyme disease symptoms similar to COVID

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month (to coincide with the start of high tick season) and this article featured in the Daily Record last week serves as a timely reminder as to why being ‘tick aware’ is so important.

This young tree surgeon describes his “traumatic ordeal” after contracting Lyme disease from a tick bite while working in 2018.

He is urging people to be on their guard this summer whilst enjoying post-lockdown ‘staycations’ and not to confuse Lyme disease symptoms for COVID.

As his Mother describes, “until you’ve seen what Lyme disease can do you can’t appreciate how bad it can be”

Sadly, we are gong to be seeing more stories like this. Read the full article here.

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Staycation trends for 2021!

We are so excited to feature in this month’s edition of Families Chiltern!

Families Chiltern has been looking after families in the Chiltern Hills for over 16 years and always offers great information and tips to local parents. To read the full article, click here!

With many families looking forward to another year of staycations, it’s important to remember to be tick aware while spending time outdoors. Many popular staycation destinations around the country have been designated as high tick risk areas by the Big Tick Project (a national awareness and research campaign), including Devon, Cornwall, Hampshire, Suffolk and Norfolk.

Public Health England recommends using a repellent while enjoying time outdoors to guard against tick bites so order your bottle of Botanic Protect today ready for those outdoor activities..!

For more information about Botanic Protect plant based tick repellent, visit our online shop today!

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Let’s get proactive about tick prevention!

The latest research to come out of the Universities of Glasgow and Liverpool confirms that ticks are equally happy in open, treeless habitats as they are in woodlands.

This supports our long-held view that infected ticks are a problem which affects the whole country and we need to be more proactive about tick prevention. Read the full article here.