The Forestry Commission has launched a publicity campaign on Oak Processionary Moths, a pest which has become established in oak trees. The Commission says “Oak Processionary Moth is a non-native species which was accidentally introduced from abroad several years ago. Its caterpillars can affect human, animal and tree health. They can affect human and animal health because their thousands of irritating tiny hairs, which can be blown off by the wind, can cause itching skin, rashes, eye and throat irritations and, occasionally, breathing difficulties.”
The Forestry Commission continues: “They cause a hazard to oak trees by eating the leaves. In large numbers they can strip whole trees bare, leaving our precious oaks weakened and vulnerable to other threats.” The Commission asks for your help by reporting sightings to help minimise spread. More information is available here – you can email [email protected] or call the helpline on 0300 067 4321.