10:32AM, Thursday 18 May 2017
A family is ‘thrilled’ the Crown Estate has installed signs warning that there are ticks in Windsor Great Park.
The small insects can carry Lyme disease, which can be debilitating if not caught quickly.
A 13-year-old who knows the effects of the disease all too well is Luke Gilbert, of Church road, Old Windsor.
Back in May 2013, when he was nine, he was bitten by a tick in Deer Park in the great park with a target mark appearing on his arm a few weeks later.
He developed an illness which could not be diagnosed and in February the following year a tumour was discovered on his arm.
Luke's mum Samantha Ash is currently fundraising for his treatment in America, with the family’s next visit in August.
He still struggles and can be bed-bound by his condition but the teenager is back to school at St Peter’s in Crimp Hill part time.
The signs went up around the park with advice on how to remove ticks earlier this week and a spokeswoman for Windsor Great Park said: “We use signs around the park to keep our visitors informed and help them to enjoy the park safely.
“The tick information signs went up to coincide with the time at which they are most active, which is from late spring to early autumn, and are in line with signs being displayed this year in many other parks and open spaces.”
Samantha said she was thrilled to see a sign up on the Bears Rails Gate near Old Windsor.
She added: “We wanted to thank the Crown Estate raising awareness of Lyme and tick-borne diseases.
“My hope is to get people checking for ticks so anything can be caught early.”
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