Flies invade part of Uckfield and pester residents

Image - Jo Hextor

For the past week or so, residents of Newtown around Bridge Farm Road and the Victoria Pleasure Ground have been invaded and pestered by swarms by flies.

This morning one resident Sharon took to social media:

‘Just to let everyone know that I have contacted the environmental department at Wealden District Council today about the horrific fly problem we are having in Uckfield, particularly at Victoria Pleasure Ground. I had to walk my dog this morning with a scarf over my face after inhaling a number of flies! The problem is getting worse’

She added: ‘I was told that the sewage plant put fly larvae in their sewage treatment which due to the mild weather in February caused them to hatch. A man from the council’s environmental department called Greg, apparently spoke to the plant on the 11th and they said they were going to spray the area. This clearly has not happened as the problem is getting worse by the day. The bins at the park were black with flies and as I live right next to Victoria Pleasure Ground I struggle to open my door to let my dog out in the back garden without them all coming in the house as are all over my outside walls’

‘I have been informed that Greg will be seeing the plant again on Friday. I do hope they sort it out soon as Spring is likely to be miserable otherwise

Another resident Martin commented:

‘I am certain you have probably received numerous reports of the pretty horrendous swarms of flying gnats that we are experiencing in Uckfield, most likely originating from the sewage or waterworks near Bridge Farm Road’

‘We are at the stage where many residents are avoiding going out. We cannot open our windows or doors without them entering properties and literally covering ceilings’

‘While making a dash to the car yesterday I had to hold my breath so as not to inhale them. Some ended up in my 10 year old son’s eyes and i had to wash them out’

Richard Hudson told Uckfield FM and send this image:

‘This is top end of forge rise, we find we cannot even spend time in our garden now as they are to bad, soon as you get close to the fence panels they are every where. Unable to open windows or doors day or night’

Uckfield Town Councillor Donna French said:

‘Southern Water told me that they do not use insects in their filter beds to help purify the water. From a visit there last week with Jo , the site is definitely not fly free, but getting anyone to identify or acknowledge the source is the tricky part’

‘I’ve seen first hand how this is affecting households in the area and hopefully the planned visit from East Sussex environmental health officers later this week will help sort this out’

She added ‘The Town Council have also reported the matter’

A spokesperson for Wealden said

“Rother and Wealden Environmental Health have been working with Southern Water to solve this issue, which is believed to be originating from their water treatment works. An investigation is still ongoing to determine the exact cause. In the interim, Southern Water are sourcing the necessary chemicals to treat problem and this should occur within the next 10 – 14 days. RDC/WDC Environmental Health will be visiting the water treatment works on 22 March as part of their ongoing investigation.”

Incidents can be report via the following link here.

About 30 seconds in swarms can be viewed.