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Flood strategy for West Berkshire

West Berkshire Council is consulting on a new document that will help communities understand and manage flood risk within the district.

The West Berkshire Local Flood Risk Management Strategy focuses on local flooding from surface water and groundwater to flooding from main rivers.

The Council's produced a draft Strategy and is seeking feedback so that comments and suggestions maybe woven into the final strategy.

The consultation will ensure that local people have the opportunity to influence how local flooding in West Berkshire is managed, now and in the future. I would ask all those who have been affected by flooding in recent years to take the time to respond to this consultation. Their comments will provide valuable input to the strategy.

– Pamela Bale, West Berkshire's Executive Councillor for Highways

The consultation can be found at: and the closing date is 28th February 2014.

Helicopter to spray woodland in plan to eradicate caterpillar 'pests'

The Oak Processionary Moth can cause a threat to Credit: Mark Townsend/Gristwood & Toms.

The Forestry Commission is planning to spray woodland near Pangbourne in West Berkshire to eradicate a pesky species of caterpillar. The Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) caterpillars can eat the leaves off entire trees, leaving the trees vulnerable to other pests and diseases.

A helicopter will spray the woodland twice over 7 to 14 days in May. This is the time of year when OPM caterpillars typically emerge from eggs in oak trees. As well as being a risk to trees the 'pests' can cause a painful rash in humans and animals. Eye and throat problems have also been reported.

The area to be sprayed includes Herridge's and Broom Copses and other trees nearby. The Forestry Commission, along with West Berkshire Council are reassuring the public that the spray which is a bacterial agent occurring naturally and widely in soil poses no risk to humans or animals.