Sunday, 22 February 2009


Armed with secateurs and combustible paper sacks, the inspection of 7kms of hedgerow began one morning in February. The picture above does not show tissue or plastic caught in a young hedge but the 'tents' of the overwintering caterpillars of the brown tailed moth.
A close up of the enemy! Each 'tent' can contain between 100 and 200 hibernating caterpillars.

This picture of the young hawthorn hedge alongside the bridleway that runs from Sparrow Castle Pumping Station on Manston Road to Park Road illustrates the level of brown tailed moth infestation. The 'clean-up' is estimated to have removed between 30,000 to 40,000 potentially very 'hungry' caterpillars which would have one sole purpose in life in March; to eat as much hawthorn leaf as possible!
An annual 'cull' will now be an essential maintainance task.

No comments: