Fury as developers cover trees in huge NETS to keep out birds and get around rules preventing the cutting down of nesting grounds
- Developers use nets to prevent breaking the law when they later cut down tree
- It is illegal under Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to disrupt nesting birds
- Nets are legal if fitted properly – checking for birds in tree before and routinely
- The nets are at Walnut Tree Park housing development in Guildford, Surrey
Angry residents have taken to Twitter to complain after developers netted trees to keep birds out during peak nesting season.
The Walnut Tree Park housing development, being built by Sladen Estates, have covered numerous trees in Guildford, Surrey, with nets to stop birds nesting in them.
The move is thought to be because, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is unlawful for them to cut down trees containing nesting birds.
But locals have branded the action ‘sickening’ and claim it is causing birds to die.
‘It is not just birds that cannot get to the trees, think of the insects trapped without thought or care too, it’s sickening, our culture has evolved to be quite vile,’ tweeted Rebecca Clifford.
Picture taken March 10 shows some of the trees netted in Guildford,Surrey,to stop birds nesting which has caused anger amongst local residents
Several gaps can be seen in the netting surrounding the large tree
TrinityPamela added: ‘If I saw this I’d be up there with a ladder and a pair of scissors, it’s the most offensive thing I’ve seen in a long time.
Home Farm Magpie said: ‘A very cynical ploy to get around the legislation. I have wondered for many years why no one has taken developers to task for operations that farmers are not allowed to do.
Michael Powell wrote: ‘Disgraceful behaviour and equally as bad as the illegal destruction of nests. Should be banned.’
Sarah Spencer-Adams tweeted: ‘Totally insane and cruel. Total disregard for the biosphere obviously.’
Tree nets cover trees in the grounds of the development while building work takes place around them
Canal side tree covered in netting on the edge of the development
A spokesman for the RSPB said today: ‘This is just another example of us trying to squeeze nature into smaller and smaller spaces.
‘We would ask that developers do this tree and hedge removal work outside the breeding season so that netting is never needed.
‘However it is legal, so if absolutely necessary, it’s crucial that it be done properly. This means checking for birds when the netting is fitted, and then ongoing regular checks, as birds often find a way to get under the edge of a net and then get stuck.’
MailOnline has approached Sladen Estates for comment.
Why do developers use tree nets?
- All birds nests and their eggs are protected from being intentionally ‘taken, damaged or destroyed’ while they are being used or built under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
- When developers have plans to move or cut down trees during nesting season they use the nets to stop birds from nesting
- If developers find birds are nesting in a tree they planned to cut down they must legally wait until the birds are finished with the nest which can take anywhere between 2-12 weeks
- Developers use nets to ensure the building schedule is not delayed by nests
- Birds can squeeze through gaps in the nets trying to while reach the tree and become stuck
- It is illegal to ‘obstruct or prevent any wild bird from using its nest’ so nets can not be erected on trees with nests already present