This last happened in May 2011 (I still have the photos I took then!), and a bit of research then revealed that these are ermine moth caterpillars, and their host plant, is the spindle tree.
On the Wikipedia page there is a picture of the moth, but I have never knowingly seen one of the adults. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yponomeuta_cagnagella
Since I travel this route almost every day, I think I would have noticed if there had been similar tents in the hedge between 2011 and 2017, but I don't recall seeing any. So that raises the question is this a regular event occurring every six years? or is it just the climatic conditions have been ideal for the caterpillars? At the moment ... we just don't know ...