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Should the government address the issue of tree netting?

Netting is being spotted all over England, often in places where preparation work is being carried out for planned housing developments

It’s finally spring, the time of year when the flowers bloom, the sun is out for longer and birds are nesting.

But nesting is not being made easy in many parts of England, with increased reports of developers covering hedges and trees with netting.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) says developers do this to make it easier for them to remove greenery when the time comes, as although it’s an offence to destroy an active nest, there are no laws to prevent the installation of nets to stop birds nesting in the first place.

One of several high-profile figures to condemn the practice is naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham, who has described it as “ghastly” and the “antithesis of everything conservation stands for”.

The RSPB – which says the UK has lost more than 40 million birds in the past 50 years – has now asked the government to address this issue.

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust says netting “seems to be an increasingly common practice”, which it’s seeing “more and more on developments”, while the Woodland Trust believes it’s been happening for a few years.

petition calling for netting hedgerows to become a criminal offence has more than 36,000 signatures and a campaign has been started asking people to send photographs of netting to their local authority, including the #NestingNotNets hashtag, with details about the location.

What are your views?  Have you seen this where you live?  Should a law be passed to stop this practice? 

Should the government address the issue of tree netting?

1055 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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RabHaw
4 days ago
0
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We should be encouraging birds and animals not endangering their existence Must be stopped and torn down !
Yodama
11th Apr 2019
0
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Just another destructive act by humans who will be responsible for the decline in the bird population. This practice must be banned immediately
VeraS
8th Apr 2019
0
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Birds were here long before developers Where is RSPB they are there when they want money
Ali24
5th Apr 2019
0
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Birds and wildlife in general have a hard enough time because of loss of habitate. Trees and hedgerows should be left alone for these fascinating little creatures to build nests and bring up families. Bird numbers are dropping so we should be doing all we can to help them.
mikeg
5th Apr 2019
0
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If bird could vote they'd be voting "yes, please"!
surferbernie
5th Apr 2019
0
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Yes I have started to see this netting in hedgerows. Not happy about this.
PeneR
2nd Apr 2019
3
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This is an issue both for the birds and the trees, not to mention being an eyesore. We should be planting more trees and encouraging nesting.
Alicia
30th Mar 2019
-2
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I was not aware that trees were covered with netting! Certainly does not happen where I live !
Valerie1943
27th Mar 2019
2
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Our wildlife is diminishing, we see less birds, bees, hedgehogs, foxes, badgers., etc.We need to protect our wildlife before it too late.
GladysFriday
27th Mar 2019
4
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My area is undergoing huge increases in housing building etc., and that is as it should be. However, these hideous nets have NOT been used even once. Developers can work with nature when they want to. Incidentally, should any nets appear near me - they won't be there for long!
Hazel
27th Mar 2019
0
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Well said Gladys. x
NormaF5
27th Mar 2019
3
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This is quite inhumane. Also, birds could get their feet snagged in the netting were they to investigate. This is yet another example of neoliberalism and deregulating business in order to allow them to increase profits.. Big developers are buying leases of land which is not included in the house sale only to sell those leases on at a later date. They need to have their wings clipped. According to the last big climatology report, we need to be planting many more trees, not cutting them down. Leave the birds to live a natural life and continue to delight us. With the rate of building as it is, there will not be a place for trees at all.
BillS42
27th Mar 2019
3
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Ban netting. We already waste enough fruit by over production so to lose fruit to birds is minimal. The loss of nesting sites and reduction on pollinators will result in shortages in the future. Thankfully it won’t affect me as I am in the twilight of my life. Feel sorry for my grandchildren.
Smulders
27th Mar 2019
-6
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People need housing and more trees can be planted elsewhere to house birds.
Lionel
28th Mar 2019
2
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If we addressed the elephant in the room - a population crisis - then we'd need far fewer new house and the wild life wouldn't be excluded from Britain.

But let's call it a housing crisis instead. Makes us all feel better doesn't it?
Nshaw
27th Mar 2019
6
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What’s our country coming to everything is just greed come on people open your eyes stop this now
Margaret Dempsey
27th Mar 2019
2
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Wild life comes first not builder's or who ever else's think it's ok to do that we have lost so much wild life they are important
JaneD12
27th Mar 2019
5
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We had this appalling netting put on a hedge outside my house and planning is nowhere near being given so I feel developers are being arrogant and greedy by installing this as they put it on and leave it no one inspects it it was left flapping around after the storms we had .
Then to hear the spokesman from partner construction to say these nets have been tampered with as they would never use cable ties well Mr I have news for you I saw the installers use them and have photos.im pleased to say following the bad publicity ours has been removed
Also it’s not just birds that can get trapped remember our poor beleaguered hedgehog
maggie darkes
27th Mar 2019
6
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Dreadful! It should be banned!
Kes
26th Mar 2019
5
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Yes,, I’ve seen it and am appalled by it. Councils are turning a blind eye to developers who will stop at nothing to get what they want, when they want it. Half baked promises to plant new trees as a trade off is not the answer. It takes years for new planting to mature. Regardless of the law referred to, local authorities should not give consent and planning permission to developers who intend to carry out this sickening practice. It’s against the law to destroy nests and so it should be against the law to actively prevent nesting. Netted hedgerows are harming other wildlife animals, not just birds. Sign the petition.
ElisabethR
26th Mar 2019
0
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I haven't actually seen this. Surely it is to protect the trees whilst building is going on? Then outlaw during the nesting season. This is not solely responsible for the decline in the bird population as has only been used recently. Insecticides play a large part...and humans feeding the wrong things to them is another reason. We do love a new reason for things dont we? Could the RSPB give us an overview of all the reasons for the decline please.
TheresaM9
27th Mar 2019
1
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Read the article..it makes it easy to clear trees and hedgerows if nothing nesting
Margaret Hart
26th Mar 2019
0
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They should address this matter by banning it but until Brexit is sorted everything else is being ignored and put to one side. Everyone is so busy blaming Mrs May for Brexit they have forgotten that David Cameron was the author of all this and when he got an answer he didn’t want he chickened out and walked away. He had promised the British people the vote on the EU but had put no work into plans of how the Government would act depending on how we voted. If any body goes down in history for this mess it should be David Cameron and George his Chanceller.
JimA82
26th Mar 2019
5
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Birds are in decline and nothing should be done to prevent them from mating and nesting. The developers should be encouraged to help with this instead of ripping out hedges and trees.
Janeyvmg
26th Mar 2019
4
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What a ridiculous idea! Trees are lovely to look at throughout the year in all seasons and look horrible with those nets over them.
Wilf
26th Mar 2019
5
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Terrible-I have seen this on the news. How callous the developers are and why on earth would the local authorities allow this to go on. Looks like all Silversurfers are against it and rightly so.
Retiredyorkie
26th Mar 2019
6
Thanks for voting!
Certainly not seen any tree netting in the area where I live and being near wet lands which are run in conjunction with the RSPB think it would cause quite an up roar.

Definitely should be banned
Munsterlander
26th Mar 2019
4
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This is an outrage. The police or RSPB need to take these down. How can we be killing birds with them or preventing them from nesting-terrible.
TriciaLuckcuck
26th Mar 2019
5
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Tree netting should be outlawed in exactly the same way as destroying nest is. The principal of reducing nesting is the same whichever way it’s done.
Judith358
26th Mar 2019
5
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We should be protecting our declining bird population, with hedgerows being ripped up to make fields bigger and increase production of crops and now an increase in netting something needs to be done. We need our birds to keep nature in balance.
Billythequiche
26th Mar 2019
3
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I have no idea why this is done, I have never seen it. I look to my friends on Silversurfers to enlighten me, until they do I cannot make an educated comment.
Lionel
28th Mar 2019
1
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Beats me Billy. If ever you get an answer let me know, oh, and there's a fair few other things I don't understand either.
Billythequiche
28th Mar 2019
2
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If you don't know with your background, there's no hope for me. Funny how, as you get older, you realise how much you don't understand. I don't know if that is the start of mental decline or the start of real wisdom.
Lionel
28th Mar 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
Let's be nice to ourselves. It's real wisdom ... the sheer luxury of being able to say, 'I don't know and guess what? I care even less.'

Now that's wisdom, Billy, keeping out of it.
Bald123
26th Mar 2019
5
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This is outrageous-I read the other day that birds are getting trapped in these nets and dying. HM Gov needs to stop this immediately.
Wipeout
26th Mar 2019
6
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This practice not only affects the bird population but also the pollination of the covered trees which in turn has an effect on the bees and insects.

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