Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
I’ve been appalled to read about number of incidents where developers have wrapped hedgerows and trees in netting, to try to prevent birds nesting there. As Miles King explains in his latest blog for Lush Times: “Once a bird is sitting on a nest it gains legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. It cannot be moved, nor can the hedge or tree, except under licence, during the nesting season. So, if you want to, say, build a new housing estate on land which is currently criss-crossed by hedgerows, and you don’t want to be delayed by some pesky nesting birds, then wrap the hedges up to keep them bird-free.”
I raised this during a recent Westminster Hall debate, citing a recent story where sand martins, who have flown thousands of miles back to the UK following their winter migration, were unable to access their old nesting sites at Bacton Cliffs in Norfolk, because of netting. As a parliamentary species champion for the swift, I know how important it is for us to protect habitats, and I am pleased that in Norfolk at least, the netting is now being removed.