Oak Processionary Moth identified in Derbyshire

Company: HTA

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has been made aware that Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) has been found in oak trees in Derbyshire, an area outside the known London established area and surrounding counties.

The Forestry Commission is encouraging members of the public, owners, and managers to remain vigilant and report any sightings. This can be done via the TreeAlert portal, by emailing opm@forestrycommission.gov.uk, by calling 0300 067 4442 or, if a Professional Operator, by contacting your local Plant Health & Seeds Inspector. OPM caterpillars and nests should not be touched under any circumstances.

Sally Cullimore, Technical Policy Manager, at the Horticultural Trades Association, commented:

“We actively support swift action and communication on this outbreak. As a sector, biosecurity, pests and diseases are a top priority, and all efforts are made to sustain the highest standards and rigour in compliance with advice, guidance and legislation.

"Along with the government, HTA will keep members informed as we learn more about this outbreak. We are on hand to support members with queries and encourage businesses to consider finding out more about the benefits of schemes such as OHAS and Plant Healthy.

"Whilst control of this outbreak and communication are a top priority at present, this is also an opportunity to remind and reiterate the need for everyone to be aware of their responsibilities for plant and tree health and biosecurity. The impact of outbreaks can devastate businesses in sectors like ours, and we believe that there is scope and opportunity to work in partnership to investigate an indemnity or insurance scheme for business losses in no-fault outbreaks and the need for prioritisation of action on upholding biosecurity in known, but difficult to tackle areas, such as online sales and personal imports.”

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