Netting, nesting and the planning process – some guidance
Following national coverage of the issue of netting vegetation to prevent birds from nesting, Shropshire Council has been receiving phone calls from residents. Where planning applications are involved we have been passing on the reports to the developers.
Normally we don’t put a condition on planning decisions regarding nesting birds as they have legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and, as such, birds are protected whether or not the planning process is involved. But, we do raise awareness of the legal protection of nesting birds by putting information on the planning decision notice. The responsibility therefore rests with the persons authorising and installing the netting, and their ecological advisors, to ensure that an offence is not committed under wildlife legislation.
We would always encourage developers to plan their work to avoid the bird nesting season and hence prevent the need to use other methods such as netting vegetation.
If members of the public see vegetation being cleared, which they know is supporting nesting birds, or birds are being trapped under netting and the owners cannot be contacted, they should call the Wildlife Crime Officer on 101.