toggle menuMENU Policy on the use of pesticides We avoid using chemicals where practical. We do not use pesticides in parks, except to control invasive weeds, such as Japanese knotweed. Weeds are controlled by cultural operations and are removed manually. We do not use chemicals to control plant diseases (other than on fine turf areas). We plant resistant species and improve plant maintenance regimes. The borough occasionally has infestations of the Oak Processionary Moth (OPM). The caterpillars of this species have fine hairs that can cause irritation, or occasionally more serious reactions, in humans. Where infestations are found, the Forestry Commission (funded by the government) chemically treat these in spring. Nests are then pruned out and disposed of in August Fungicides are used on the council's four bowling greens to maintain the fine grass playing surface and control turf diseases. Our trained staff use their experience to make sure that treatments are kept to a minimum and are carried out in a safe and timely way. Rats and other pests are monitored. Outbreaks are controlled only when necessary by the council's pest control service.