Villagers win battle to save nesting birds

30 March 2017 9:50AM

CONCERNS over birds trapped by netting in Ovingham have come home to roost.

Residents became very worried for the welfare of nesting birds after netting was placed over a large stretch of hedge in the village.

And in response to mounting anger, developer Isos has agreed to remove the nets.

Green netting was stretched over a hedgerow off a stretch of Piper Road between March 17 and March 20.

The hedge is due to be removed as part of Isos Homes’ 22-home development.

Isos sent contracter, Able Construction to net the hedge to prevent birds nesting there before it is uprooted.

However, neighbouring residents say that birds were already nesting, and laying eggs in the hedge when the net was thrown over it.

As public feeling grew, a Facebook page and Twitter account were established for Piper Road Hedge. On it footage of a blackbird flapping against the netting a the top of the hedge was posted.

Ovingham resident, Jean Hedley said: “The fact that I found a bird’s nest the same day it was netted proves the hedge wasn’t adequately surveyed. The net is an obstruction for birds, causing stress at a time when they’re supposed to be nesting. If chicks do fledge, they could get trapped and die.”

Residents reported the issue to both the RSPCA and Northumbria Police.

Neighbourhood Inspector Pam Bridges said: “Our specialist wildlife officer assessed the area and advised that the netting be removed.”

Isos has now agreed to remove the netting entirely.

A spokesman said: “A specialist police officer attended the site, and it was agreed by the contractor that a section of netting would be removed.

“However problems persisted with birds becoming trapped in the netting, so we have now decided to remove the netting entirely.”

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