How to walk in the woods safely: beware of ticks and other dangers

How to walk in the woods safely: beware of ticks and other dangers

Because of climate change also make one walk in a forest requires special attention. This is the message that German environmental educators convey to elementary school children during walks in the countryside, with a few simple tips that everyone must know.

Fires and drought

Since in recent years it has rained very little, trees in the woods are weakened and damaged, they explain to the students. "Trees are no longer as resilient as they once were - he says for example Alena Schmidt of the forestry office in Koblenz -, are more susceptible to pests and other diseases, as a result of which many branches dry out and fall off". And this is particularly dangerous in windy weather or incoming storms. In such situations it is better to give up a walk among the trees.


Breathing in the forest air helps reduce anxiety

by Fiammetta Cupellaro

Look closely where you walk

But even when the weather is nice you have to change the way you walk among the trees: usually yes just look aheador scrutinize the ground to catch the presence of small fruits or animals, now we need to change perspective, we need to observe carefully pay attention to the foliage of the plants to realize if there are dry branchesunsafe, which could fall.

Watch out for ticks and processionaries

Then there is the "tick" problem: for decades, countries like the Germanythe SwissL'Austria and the France have had to learn to live with this problem, but now this "enemy" who can transmit diseases such as Lyme borreliosis and TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) is also well present in the woods and meadows of northern Italy, and, sporadically, also in Tuscany and Lazio. In the past, ticks sought shelter from hostile weather conditions in winter by hiding under the foliage which also guaranteed them sufficient humidity, but due to the increasingly less rigid and rainy winters of recent years these parasites have not ceased their bloodsucking activities to feed even during the cold season. Their cycle now extends almost to the whole year, but remains more intense in the spring and summer months, preferring the more humid and cool areas, such as the woods, and avoiding very hot and dry ones.

Ticks, but also other insects that can bite, are mainly found in bushes and tall grass. So if you venture into the undergrowth off designated trailsthe risk of being stung increases. In any case, after a walk in the woods, says Schmidt, you have to check your body carefully to be sure that one of these parasites has not attached itself to the skin.

Walking in the woods it is still better to insert the pants in socks: this attention minimizes the possibility of ticks burrowing into the trouser leg. From avoid shorts.


The increase in temperature facilitates the spread of ticks in the mountains and around the world

by Vittorio Da Rold

During walks in wooded environments, attention should be paid to Oak Processionaries. The caterpillars of this "hairy" bluish-gray moth, which as the name suggests tends to move on tree trunks forming long processions, often capture the attention of children. Touching them can be dangerous: if the prickly hairs on their back come off, they can cause urticaria, edema, hypotension, inflammation, breathing difficulties, and loss of consciousness. In general, environmental educators recommend always staying on the paths during walks in the woods out of respect for the animals that live in that environment.

Respect the animals and beware of logs

"Nature is being interfered with more and more - underlines Schmidt - it is essential to always stay on the marked paths so that the animals feel safe with places to retreat". Finally: those who go through the woods with children must be careful that they do not climb onto piles of wood that may have been left there by woodcutters: the trunks can move easily, feet and hands can get stuck or even be crushed by a large trunk . And in woodpiles insects often lurk that "don't want to be disturbed".

Source link