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This resource aims to build on the work Forest Research led on assessing and communicating animal disease risks in the countryside. This project has involved a literature review and the production of a Briefing Note aimed at environment sector organisations on how they might raise awareness and communicate to their staff and the visitors to the land they own or manage, about Lyme disease. The work is also linked to the development of an internal awareness raising campaign for staff developed by Forestry Commission Scotland. The review of literature was undertaken to explore how the risk of Lyme disease is communicated and what behaviours can reduce risk, and how these can be encouraged, and enabled.
Lyme disease is the most common tick borne disease in Europe. People can be bitten by ticks when they come into contact with vegetation or animals on which ticks are not fully attached. Contact with ticks can take place in parks, gardens, woodlands, the wider countryside, and anywhere with dense vegetation. Checking for ticks after visiting these places is important to reduce risk.
The objectives of for developing this resource were to:
The Briefing Note primarily focuses on providing a risk communication framework that can be used by environment sector organisations to consider and develop communication on what behaviours and preventative measures can be taken by staff and visitors to reduce the risk of contracting Lyme disease. The framework enables organisations to consider – behaviours, the target audience, where information should be provided and how. It also helps organisations to consider points of intervention for communication and action, for example before a visit to nature, during a visit, after a visit.
The framework could be used directly with staff and visitors to involve them in co-creating and co-producing appropriate communication and awareness raising approaches.
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