What are these ticks and what can we do to stop getting bitten by them? More to the point, why are ticks a health concern?

Ticks are blood sucking members of the spider family. We have about 20 species in the UK and most of them feed on specific wild animals like bats, woodland birds, badgers and foxes. Several are only recorded from seabirds on offshore islands. In contrast though, the sheep or deer tick Ixodes ricinus feeds on practically all animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, humans and pets (particularly dogs). This tick can be active all year, but numbers start to increase from late March, peaking in late spring and summer and will remain active until October.

For further details, head on over to the Governments website.