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1. OPM manual

This document has been published to provide support and advice for owners of oak trees in the areas affected by OPM. Your feedback can help to improve it: opm@forestry.gsi.gov.uk.

The caterpillars, or larvae, of the Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) are a pest which are a hazard to the health of oak trees, people and animals.

OPM was accidentally introduced from continental Europe into London in 2005 and, despite eradication attempts, it has become established and the area affected has grown.

Nevertheless, it cannot be left uncontrolled, and the main focus of control now is to prevent or limit further outward spread of the pest. This requires action by everyone who owns or manages oak trees in the affected areas.

This handbook has therefore been put together for owners and managers of oak trees which are or could be affected by OPM. The advice it provides applies regardless of whether you have only one or two oak trees in your garden or you are responsible for many trees in larger areas such as parks, woodland, streets and other situations.

If controls are to be effective, they must be carried out in partnership between land owners, government and local authorities in a co-ordinated response. We believe that if it is left uncontrolled, the moth could in time spread across much of Great Britain. The advice in this manual reflects the strategy agreed between Forestry Commission England and Local Authorities, with advice from our Forest Research agency and others with experience in this field.

Last updated: 20th October 2016