The LTOA welcomes this week’s stories on OPM and agrees that this is primarily a human health issue.
In 2006 OPM was first identified in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and now in 2010 it has spread to the boroughs of Ealing, Brent, Hounslow and Hammersmith & Fulham. The LTOA is of the opinion that, without drastic action, OPM will continue to spread across the UK, as it has across the continent. We are close to the last chance for eradication. The LTOA has alerted the tree officers in Hillingdon, Harrow, Kingston, Merton, Wandsworth, Kensington and Chelsea, Spelthorne and Elmbridge who may well be next affected. In a relatively short period we might be faced with problems at, for instance, Olympic venues such as Greenwich Park.
The LTOA is about to release a Guidance Note on OPM.
Among key aspects highlighted are:
Over the last year the LTOA has:
Dave Lofthouse, Chair of the LTOA, said “The members of the LTOA are the officers dealing with this on the ground and do not have the resources and tools to do the job. Eradication will only be possible if this is reprioritised as a human health problem with appropriate legal controls and given adequate resources”.
More information and images can be found on the Forestry Commission website
The London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) provides an information network for the exchange of views, experiences and ideas on trees and their management. The Association dates back to 1982 and aims to enhance the management of the Capital’s trees and woodlands. It involves local authority Tree Officers in all 33 London Boroughs from which there are approximately 130 members and an associate membership scheme of approximately 55 members. The LTOA is funded by London Borough subscriptions and an associate member scheme. For more information take a look at the LTOA website at www.ltoa.org.uk.