14 August 2019

The Forestry Commission has published useful information and resources on the Oak Processionary Moth (OPM), a non native species that can come into the country via tree imports.

Some oak trees carrying the caterpillars or the eggs have been imported recently and there have been reports of the caterpillar in the North of England for the first time.

The OPM caterpillars' tiny hairs contain a toxin which can lead to itching skin lesions and, less commonly, sore throats, breathing difficulties or eye problems. This can happen if people touch the caterpillars or nests, or if the hairs are blown into contact by the wind.

For OPM tools and resources, visit www.forestresearch.gov.uk/opm and to report sightings of pests and diseases, members are encouraged to use the use the TreeAlert online portal.