The long dry summer has brought a new hazard to our regular dog-walks. Underground wasp nests.
A couple of weeks ago, Toby the Jack Russell Terrier was chasing his ball into the long grass when he screamed in pain and ran back onto the path. He seemed agitated and unwell, so his owners took him straight to the Vet, concerned he may have been bitten by an Adder, a poisonous snake. However, it turned out he had been stung several times by wasps. He was given some treatment, and made a good recovery.
His owners went back to check the area where he had been stung, and found a series of holes covered in wasps entering and leaving. They notified the Parish Council, who arranged for a pest controller to come and destroy the nest.
Then yesterday, in a completely different area of Beetley Meadows, a family group were making their way down to the river when they were attacked by a large number of wasps close to the main path. The wasps appeared from holes in the ground inside the long grass nearby, and a child and her mother were stung. The mother was stung 12 times as she attempted to shield her child.
Today, a sign has been erected warning people to avoid the area. Hopefully, someone will advise the Parish Council tomorrow.
I know they are valuable pollinators, but we can’t have openly aggressive wasps stinging small children and dogs on a family-friendly recreation area.