§ Sandra Gidley
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 31 January 2002,Official Report, column 477W, on cameraria ohridella, if she will state (a) how close cameraria ohridella has spread towards the UK and on what date this was, (b) what the rate of spread towards the United Kingdom is and (c) what action the Government plan to take to prevent transmission across the channel; and whether she estimates that the disease is likely to have spread to the UK by the spring. 
§ Mr. Morley
Since it was first detected in Macedonia in 1985, cameraria ohridella has spread rapidly across Europe and is now present in the Netherlands where it was found in 1999 and in France and Belgium where it was found in 2000.
Although the natural rate of spread of the moth is quite low, passive carriage on vehicles from infested areas is a highly effective and speedy means of dispersal, which explains the recent expansion of range across Europe. Because of this, it is not considered practicable to try to prevent its spread through the imposition of phytosanitary controls. Transmission to Britain is considered highly likely, although it is not possible at this stage to estimate when this might happen.
As I indicated previously, in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Leyton and Wanstead (Harry Cohen) on 25 October 2001, Official Report, column 362W, the Forestry Commission will shortly publish an exotic pest alert which will be sent to foresters, local authority tree experts and others. In addition to providing a colour-illustrated guide to the biology and symptoms of the moth, it will ask readers to report any sightings so that these can be investigated without delay.
May I also draw the hon. Member's attention to the Forest Research Annual Report for 2000–01 (HC 247), copies of which are in the Library of the House. The report gives a detailed account of the information known to date about this pest, an assessment of the level of threat posed to this country and the control options that have been assessed.