With reference to the current situation concerning the Blandford Fly (BVM 8/8/14) I thought that readers might like to know that I have started a petition urging NDDC and Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group to take immediate steps to ensure that the River Stour continues to be sprayed annually so as to keep this insect under control.
I was very concerned to learn that it is unlikely that a licence will be issued in time for treatment of the river next March, and this, coupled with the announcement that NDDC plans "to facilitate a thorough review......" leads to a suspicion that more than one year could easily pass without treatment.
It is only because numbers of the fly have been controlled in recent years that far fewer people have suffered what can be the debilitating effects of a bite, which can include swelling, painful joints, blistering and a high temperature. I feel that the authorities involved in making decisions need to be aware of the strength of local feeling, and trust that they will take full account of the signatures on the petition.
Copies of the petition, which I hope to submit by the end of September, are in Blandford Tourist Office and in shops and businesses around the centre of the town. For details, please phone me on 01258 451557.