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Changes to Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) management zones and policy for moving large oak trees

This year, Defra is introducing changes to the OPM management zones and the permitted movement of large oak trees (girth at 1.2m above the root collar of >8cm) within these zones.

Summary of changes

  1. In March 2023 the Established Area and Buffer Zone management zone boundaries will be expanded to reflect the current areas of known infestation. The updated zone boundaries will be published on GOV.UK and the OPM resource hub.
  2. Later this year a new regulation will come into force that will permit the movement of large oak trees within the OPM Buffer Zone and Established Area, provided specific biosecurity and movement measures are met. Additionally, a new 10km exclusion zone will be introduced at the outer edge of the Buffer Zone.

What you need to do if you want to move large oak trees within the OPM management zones from later this year

  • Speak to your Plant Health and Seeds Inspector (PHSI) now to discuss biosecurity requirements including what you will need to do now to prepare.
  • Check the updated zones and boundaries in March on GOV.UK and the OPM resource hub to establish which zone you are in.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the updated zones and how this may affect your trading/movement of large oaks.
  • Follow the new biosecurity requirements for moving large oaks within the OPM management zones from later this year 

If you have any questions, please speak to your PHSI. If you don’t have details for your PHSI, please email planthealth.info@apha.gov.uk or call 0300 1000 313 (please select option 3 when calling).