Warning to dog walkers to avoid fern

DOG walkers are asked to take care extra in Bersted.

If you walk your pooch on Bersted Brooks local nature reserve, you’re being asked to keep it away from the water.

The warning comes after Arun District Council’s Parks team discovered an amount of floating water fern in a ditch.

The team are keen to prevent from spreading any further.

The fern, which is officially known as Azolla filiculoides, is not dangerous to humans or dogs but can affect wetland wildlife.

Arun’s Cabinet Member for environmental services Cllr Paul Dendle said: “We are asking dog walkers to keep their pets away from the water as a precaution, in case they spread the fern further.

“However, there is no reason for people not to keep visiting and enjoying the nature reserve; the fern is only a risk to wetland wildlife.”

Signs are going up at Bersted Brooks later this week so dog walkers will know which areas are affected.

The council is also taking other measures to control the fern, including installing booms to stop it spreading to other wetland areas.

They are also getting hold of tiny insects called weevils, which will destroy the fern altogether.

If you would like further information on the fern please contact Arun District Council’s parks team on 01903 737957.