St Albans is one of UK's worst locations for hay fever
- Credit: Laura Bill
There's an unfortunate side-effect to the many green spaces which make up our beautiful district - the dreaded hay fever!
A new study into the condition reveals St Albans' abundance of parks and playing fields make it a nightmare city for people allergic to grass pollen.
St Albans comes fifth in the UK for the seasonal symptoms, pipped to the top spot by Canterbury, with Windsor, Wokingham and Basingstoke coming in second, third and fourth.
Biophilic design agency Exubia decided to analyse 100 different locations to determine which city or town is the nation's worst for hay fever.
Symptoms of hay fever tend to get worse as temperatures rise and then ease when temperatures surpass 28°C.
Meanwhile, the wind tends to increase the spread of pollen making symptoms worse and rainfall tends to lead to a marked decrease in pollen concentration.
Using this information, Exubia assessed monthly mean wind speeds in knots, maximum temperature, and average rainfall during the months most people suffer from hay fever (May - July)
To complete the rankings, they used ONS local authority data to determine the grass cover and tree cover of each area.
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As tree pollen and grass pollen are the two most common causes of hay fever, this gives a good indication of how bad the pollen count will be in the area.
We then gave the towns and cities a score from 1-100 depending on how they compared with each other on each factor and combined these scores to give each place an overall rank across the board.
The higher the score, the worse the location is for hay fever sufferers.
If you do find yourself in an area where your symptoms flare up, then wearing wrap-around sunglasses and installing a pollen filter into your car is a great first line of defence.
When arriving home, it is also critical to remove any outdoor clothes and wash the pollen out of your hair. Pollen that gets stuck on fabric or in hair can prolong suffering for hours post pollen exposure.