Oak Processionary Moth is extending its spread in Richmond Park and South-West London generally. So please be careful when you visit the Park.
The hairs of the caterpillars carry a toxin which can be a threat to human health, causing skin rashes, eye irritation and respiratory problems. In high numbers the caterpillars can also cause defoliation of oak trees.
In late April / early May pesticide spraying took place on oaks in busy areas and those where they have been previously heavily infested. In late May, careful surveying started of the whole Park by volunteer spotters to locate nests which are then tagged for later removal by specialist operatives using spacesuit-like protective clothing and equipment.
If you come across the caterpillars or their webbed nests please do not touch them and keep children and pets away. Report any sightings to the park office on 0300 061 2200.
You can read more about OPM from the two downloadable leaflets below – one from The Royal Parks and the other from the Forestry Commission.