Country park near Bedford named one of the worst for hay fever sufferers

Are you struggling with the sniffles?

By Clare Turner
Friday, 1st July 2022, 5:45 pm

In the summer, who doesn’t want to go for walks and enjoy picnics in the parks?

It’s great to be surrounded by the green space in all its glory but for some of you, it can be nothing short of misery.

Sneezing fits, itchy eyes and a swelling face thanks to hay fever can put you right off venturing outside.

A woman blows her nose as the return of pleasant weather marks the arrival of allergenic pollen

And – according to research by Yorktest – our beloved Marston Vale Millennium Country Park has been named one of the worst-hit by high pollen counts.

It’s been listed as the 10th worst, behind the likes of Stanwick Lakes Country Park, in neighbouring Northamptonshire and Rutland Water.

But, interestingly, ahead of Sherwood Forest Country Park in Nottinghamshire.

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The five-day average grass pollen count at the Marston Moretaine park was 98.8 grains per cubic metre.

Obviously, we don’t want you to avoid Marston Vale Millennium Country Park – far from it, so we reached out to Cate Gosling at the park.

She said: “We know that getting outdoors and into nature is good for our mental and physical health, which is one of the reasons we welcome so many visitors to Millennium Country Park and our other community woodlands every year.

“Hay fever can be uncomfortable at best, and at its worse debilitating for those who suffer.

“Thankfully there are some steps you can take so you can continue to enjoy the outdoors during most of the summer months.

“Using allergen barrier balm around the edge of each nostril, only taking short breaks outdoors on high count days and ensuring that you, and your dog if you have one, stick to surfaced paths will all help in addition to advice from your doctor.”

Other advice from the NHS website includes:

Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes

Shower and change your clothes after you have been outside to wash pollen off

Buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter

It was good news for Scottish walkers – eight out of 10 of the parks Yorktest analysed with the lowest pollen count were based in Scotland, including Airds Park in Argyll and Bute.