Oak Processionary Moth — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:13 pm on 27th April 2011.

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Photo of Baroness Kramer Baroness Kramer Liberal Democrat 3:13 pm, 27th April 2011

My Lords, I must declare an interest as a patron of the Friends of Richmond Park. Richmond Park will spend £50,000 or more this year to remove nests of that moth in order that the public can continue to use the park.

The Minister will be aware that the health hazards of the oak processionary moth caterpillar are such that to remove the nests people have to be in full chemical contamination gear, including breathing apparatus. Therefore, he will understand that I am very distressed that the eradication programme has now been set aside. Can he tell us how containment is going to work; and can he give assurances that areas of oak woodland will not have to be closed to the public, as they have been in Holland and Germany, because of the impact of this moth?