Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
The Consultative Committee received a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath that provided an update on the Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) population and its management at the North London Open Spaces (NLOS) division, following the discovery of caterpillars and nests at Queen’s Park and Hampstead Heath in June 2015.
The Tree Officer advised that nests were being dealt with swiftly as and when discovered. 15 nests had been discovered across the NLOS so far which was a relatively small amount compared with the high number of nests at Richmond Park, for instance. The Director of Open Spaces added that a detailed analysis and review was taking place across North London, in consultation with the Forestry Commission and relevant London Boroughs, and a decision regarding long-term future action was expected next summer, which may include a risk-based approach towards the eventual eradication of OPM.
In response to a member’s (Vale of Health Society) question regarding the associated health concerns, the Tree Officer advised that no staff had been affected at the NLOS. Since the first nest was discovered at Hampstead Heath, no members of the public had been affected either, thanks to clear signage and protective fencing at and near nest sites before and during removal. He added that contractors will use misting techniques for future prevention.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.