LONG GRASS AND LYME DISEASE
Written in response to a letter in the Wirral Globe on 7th April 2021 from a correspondent raising fears that allowing wildflowers and longer grass to grow on the verges would encourage ticks and risk Lyme Disease.
Ticks can only carry Lyme Disease if they have already bitten an infected animal. Lyme Disease is carried by sheep and deer, neither of which occur in Wirral's parks! The rising numbers of cases nationally is largely due to the increasing numbers of deer in southern England. There are advantages to having longer grass - it allows wild flowers to flower and seed. Every third mouthful of food we eat is held to rely on a pollinator somewhere in the food chain. Pollinating insects have fallen in number by 75% in the last 50 years and are now reaching critical levels where in some places there are not enough pollinators for crops. We need wild flowers to support pollinators to supply us and other animals with food. So welcome and enjoy the wild flowers and the insects - and regard Lyme Disease as a very remote possibility in Wirral.
Wirral Wildlife committee