You may have spotted some trees in Stevenage covered in webbing, "like a halloween scene", one witness described.

Trees in Fairlands Valley Park and Coreys Mill Lane have been covered in silk webs produced by caterpillars.

With some observers concerned they are oak processionary moth caterpillars, which can weaken trees and are hazardous to human and animal health, the Comet asked for an expert opinion.

"Our tree officers have visited Fairlands Valley Park and identified the caterpillars as the small ermine moth," said a spokesperson for Stevenage Borough Council.


"While the silk webs produced in spring and summer can cause alarm and look similar to oak processionary moths' nests, they do not feed on oak and, even in extreme cases, they should not affect the long-term health of the trees.

"As these caterpillars do not adversely affect plant, animal or human health, there is no need to control small ermine moths. The caterpillars are an important part of natural biodiversity, and they help to support populations of a diverse range of predators, including birds."