The brown tail moth has always lived and nested on the Downs. Like all of us, it has good years and bad years. In good years, the moths will make dozens of nests (“tents”) in bushes and shrubs all over the Downs, with each nest containing dozens of hairy little caterpillars.
The hairs on the caterpillars can cause a stinging rash (a bit like nettles), and if inhaled can apparently be a nuisance for people with asthma and similar breathing difficulties.
So, if you see lots of these little beasts – don’t cuddle them, and don’t stick them up your nose!
Click here for more information about this odd beast.