Moth found for first time in town

Steve Robbins with a horse chestnut tree leaf affected by the leaf miner moth's larvae
Steve Robbins with a horse chestnut tree leaf affected by the leaf miner moth's larvae

A WILDLIFE survey carried out in Hartlepool has discovered evidence of a moth never before found in the town.

Steve Robbins, a volunteer with the Wild Green Spaces in Hartlepool project, first spotted signs of the horse chestnut leaf miner in the Burn Valley Family Wood.

The moth, regarded as a pest, lays its eggs on the leaves of horse chestnut trees and the larvae then burrow inside, leading to excessive browning and drying of the leaves.

It was first reported in the Balkan state of Macedonia in 1985, but it was not until the summer of 2002 when the first UK sighting was confirmed in the London Borough of Wimbledon.

It has since spread to many other parts of the country, but until now there has never been any sign of it in Hartlepool.

He is carrying out the wildlife survey to create a baseline record of species inhabiting Hartlepool’s parks and woodlands.

This will be used over time to evaluate the success of the Wild Green Spaces in Hartlepool project, which aims to involve local people in a range of works to improve and develop the town’s parks and Local Nature Reserves to create wildlife havens where a wide range of animals and plants flourish.

People can get involved in the project by calling (01429) 853325, 07795453389 or emailing: wildgreenspaces@hartlepool.gov.uk