London borough tackles oak processionary moth nests

Hounslow Council in London has started a programme of removing it oak processionary moth (OPM) nests in its parks.

A GreenSpace 360 arboriculturist at work. Image: Hounslow Council
A GreenSpace 360 arboriculturist at work. Image: Hounslow Council

Experts from the council's GreenSpace 360 arboriculture team will be removing OPM nest infestations from several oak trees in the borough over the next two months.

Caterpillars of the OPM are covered in long hairs containing a toxic substance which can cause itchy rashes as well as eye and throat irritations if touched.

The council has reassured members of the public that they should not be alarmed by seeing arboriculturists in full safety gear and asked for their help in spotting the caterpillars or nests and reporting where they are to the Forestry Commission.

Council leader councillor Steve Curran said: "The OPM is hazardous to the health of oak trees, as large populations feed on and strip the leaves, resulting in bare trees open to disease and other pests. We’re working hard to ensure these uninvited guests are removed swiftly so that residents can continue to enjoy the many wonderful parks and open spaces in Hounslow.

GreenSpace 360 is a new subsidiary of the council-owned trading company Lampton 360, which took over running of the council's green space management following the collapse of its previous contractor, Carillion.


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