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Chair’s Welcome

I am delighted as Chair of the Friends to welcome you to our website. Bushy Park and Home Park are two wonderful large green oases in the south west corner of London. Feeling wild, they are natural places with ancient histories, fascinating heritage and superb wildlife. Both are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) containing rare species. These are places to be enjoyed and conserved. Which is why the Friends exist, campaigning, supporting and protecting the parks, and enhancing visitors’ enjoyment with information, advice and guidance.

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Oak Processionary Moth - please help!

Oak Processionary Moth - please help!

Oak Processionary Moth larvae (c) Crown Copyright. Forestry Commission

The Royal Parks would like the help of walkers, bird watchers, dog walkers and anyone in the parks who can carry a pair of binoculars. There have been discoveries of nests of the Oak processionary Moth in both Bushy and Home Parks. While walking look at all the oak trees with binoculars and report any sightings of the nests to the park offices; – Bushy Park 020 8979 1586 or Home Park 020 3166 6470. If required please leave a message describing the exact location or a contact telephone number.

But do not go near them or under any circumstances touch them.

Oak Processionary Moth Larvae on an oak tree

Oak Processionary Moth Larvae on an oak tree (Crown Copyright. Forestry Commission.)

Nests have been seen in both Bushy and Home Parks this year. The caterpillars are only really visible from May until July, although the empty nests may persist all year. If you see any old nests report them to the numbers above.

Defoliation of oak leaf by oak processionary moth larvae

Defoliation of oak leaves caused by Oak Processionary Moths (Crown Copyright. Forestry Commission.)

If you can help with next years’ survey please contact the Royal Parks senior arboriculturist, Mike Turner on his e-mail MTurner@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk

We will send another reminder nearer the time.

This is something where the Friends can make a positive and practical contribution in continuing to protect these beautiful parks.

The oak processionary moth is a major defoliator of oak in Europe. The caterpillars feed on the foliage of oaks trees, although it can affect other trees as well. It is also a risk to human and wildlife health. The caterpillars are covered in irritating hairs that contain a toxin and contact with these hairs, or their inhalation can result in skin irritation and allergic reaction.

If oak processionary moth becomes established in the Royal Parks it will pose a difficult and expensive management problem.

The accompanying photos from Forestry Research show you what to look for, but please do not touch the nests.
More information can be found on their web site
Forestry Research – oak processionary

Walks & Talks

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Latest report

A perimeter walk of Home Park led by Nicholas Garbutt was enjoyed by over 45 people on 2nd September.

Full report...