Welcome to the first Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) programme update for 2019.
Programme updates will be published regularly throughout the control season, covering key stages such as caterpillar emergence, as well as information on progress and surveillance until the final results for the year are known. Feel free to forward this update to anyone who may be interested.
Please help us to help you.
Help us provide comprehensive, up-to-date OPM reports outside of Defra/FC work by sending information on your OPM activity to email@example.com.
The weather has been a lot milder this winter, compared to last year when we were hit by the Beast from the East. Soon there will be signs of oak trees breaking bud and with that, reports of OPM.
Thanks again to the Royal Parks for monitoring OPM egg plaques – I expect soon we will
receive an update saying caterpillars have emerged.
In 2018, OPM appeared on 16th April, but this year it looks like it will be earlier. The OPM
control team is preparing, and part of this process is to issue statutory plant health notices.
Over 1000 have been sent, setting out what needs to be done. Control will most likely start
during the third week of April (depending on when the oak leaves emerge) and will continue
through most of May. Your cooperation with the control programme is much appreciated.
We will be starting a visual survey in June, based in areas where we have limited knowledge of where OPM is currently. This work is being done in conjunction with modellers at Cambridge University in order to utilise our resources to the best of our ability. We still
encourage you to report all OPM sightings to us via the online portal Tree Alert
www.forestresearch.gov.uk/treealert. Alternatively, you can send in your reports to the email
address at the end of this update.
We would also like to welcome a new member to the OPM programme team. Roberta (Bobbi) Dawkins will be starting towards the end of April and will mainly be dealing with enquiries.
Written by Andrew Hoppit
29th March 2019