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Oak Processionary Moth

posted 20 Jun 2020, 00:26 by Chorleywood Residents' Association
It has been brought to our attention that there have been sightings of the Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) on one of the Oak trees at Waverley. 

OPM is very dangerous to human and animal health.  It can cause severe skin rashes and even anaphylaxis if any of the tiny hairs get into the lungs. It can be lethal to pets who may ingest the hairs, or even eat the caterpillars.

It was introduced by accident to South-West London about 15 years ago and is established in most of Greater London and in some surrounding counties in South East England. See the distribution map on the Forest Research website for its current known distribution.

The rangers from Chorleywood Common are aware and are assessing the threat to the hundreds of Oak trees on the common.

Detailed information is available on the Forest Research website and directly via this link.  There are additional pictures of the caterpillars including how to distinguish OPM from other species, as well as guidance on action to take including how to report any sighting.  OPM is a notifiable infestation.
Please be aware of this problem and check your oak trees if you have any. 
A large fairly new OPM nest (picture from Forest Research)
A procession of OPM caterpillars on the trunk of an oak tree. (Picture from Forest Research)