Royal Parks remove oak processionary moth from Richmond Park

A hit squad of park experts that came together to seek out and destroy oak processionary moth infestations on 40,000 trees has wiped out colonies.

The team, which spent over 700 hours searching for the moth this year in Richmond Park, wound down the search last week.

More than two dozen parks staff and volunteers swept through the 1,000ha park, mainly between May and July, to pinpoint colonies.

"During this period we identified 278 nests of caterpillars on a total of 126 trees," said a representative for the Royal Parks.

All of the nests were removed by hand and caterpillars were incinerated before they could reach adulthood, she said.

Royal Parks worked with a Forestry Commission "outbreak team" and landowners to ensure a "unilateral approach to aid eradication within London", she said.

Last week (Horticulture Week 30 July) Kew arboretum head Tony Kirkham warned that oak processionary moth (OPM) was getting out of control and said the Government must step in to help eradicate the pest.


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