Local residents have raised concerns over netting that is being used to cover hedges next to housing developments across Herefordshire.

The brightly coloured net seems to be being used by developers to discourage nesting in sites earmarked for further development. The problem is that wildlife can still get into the netted area, but not necessarily get out again.

Campaigners, including the BBC’s Chris Packham and the Woodland Trust, are responding publicly to the practice and urging the public to watch out for trapped wildlife.

Jack Taylor, lead campaigner – ancient woodland, conservation and external affairs at the Trust said, “The Trust has recently been made aware of instances where trees and hedges have been covered with netting in an attempt to prevent them being used by wildlife. This practice demonstrates an alarming disregard for the welfare of wildlife, particularly during the nesting season, as birds are being blocked from nesting. Other wildlife that may rely on hedgerow habitat, such as stoats, bank voles and hibernating hedgehogs, could become trapped.”

The spokesman goes on to say ” Natural England’s standing advice for development affecting birds clearly states that preventing nesting should only be considered as a mitigation option, used only outside the breeding season, and that replacement habitat should be provided. While not an illegal practice, we consider that netting hedges and trees during the nesting and breeding season is inappropriate.”

We’ve spotted the net outside Luston, Burghill and Stoke Prior today. Have you seen any more?

Email info@yourherefordshire.co.uk with your photos.

More information can be found at https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/press-centre/2019/03/woodland-trust-response-bird-netting/