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1786: Plague of insects destroys Cuckfield oak trees

Reading Mercury - Monday 12 June 1786

Most of the oak trees in the neighbourhood of Cuckfield and Horsham, have been lately covered with a little active insect, that has entirely destroyed their foliage, and left them as at Christmas. Some timber hewers at work on the spot, being questioned on the subject, said, that during the late north-easterly winds, they observed a little black fly come in large clouds through the air, and alight on the trees, which they suppose produced the above insect. They were for two days so troublesome to them, that it was with difficulty they kept their eyes open to pursue their employment.



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