TREATMENT of the River Stour for Blandford Fly is under review after funding cuts.

North Dorset District Council announced plans to facilitate a thoroughgoing review of the annual treatment of the River Stour for Blandford Fly, following the Dorset Public Health Authority’s decision not to continue contributing to the cost of the treatment.

Cllr Deborah Croney, leader of NDDC, said: “Both Dorset’s Public Health Authority and the local Clinical Commissioning Group of GPs have said that this issue should be managed by Public Health England, which has now been asked to lead the review.”

The review will establish a firm scientific basis for the future approach to this problem.

Following the introduction of a new EU licensing regime for the chemical used to treat the river, the company that manufactures it has had to apply for a new licence.

NDDC has recently been informed that due to a backlog in dealing with these applications, the licence is unlikely to be granted in time to allow the usual treatment next March. The review will be asked to address this issue.

The Blandford Fly

Advice from NHS England on Blandford Fly says the insect, sometimes called blackfly, strikes most often during May and June.

Bites often occur on the legs and are very painful. They can produce a severe, localised reaction (a reaction that is confined to the area of the bite), with symptoms such as:

  • swelling
  • blistering
  • a high temperature of 38C (100.4F) or over
  • joint pain