Bucks MP Dame Cheryl Gillan: "We must protect our wildlife from netting"

Bucks MP Dame Cheryl Gillan:  "We must protect our wildlife from netting"
Bucks MP Dame Cheryl Gillan: "We must protect our wildlife from netting"

Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan, MP for Chesham & Amersham, raised the concerns of Buckinghamshire residents about the use of netting to prevent birds from nesting, during a Westminster Hall debate on Monday 13 May.

People in Buckinghamshire have shown their great concern for the environment by supporting an e-petition to protect nesting birds from the use of netting, Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan, MP for Chesham & Amersham, said during a Westminster debate on Monday 13 May 2019.

Of the 355,631 signatures, 1,162 came from Chesham &Amersham, with a further 5,454 signatories from other Buckinghamshire constituencies.

Much concern had been prompted by the use of netting to stop birds from nesting in hedgerows which are being grubbed up to permit the construction of HS2, said

Dame Cheryl.

“HS2 is systematically destroying a large corridor of the countryside through the centre of Buckinghamshire, and elsewhere, to make way for a railway that is literally costing the earth,” warned Dame Cheryl.

The trouble is that the Government is just as big an offender as any housing developer, Dame Cheryl told MPs.

“The route chosen for HS2 passes through irreplaceable natural habitats and unspoiled ecosystems.

"Constructing a railway line with a land-take equivalent to a four-lane motorway will have a devastating effect on the natural environment in those areas.

"Over 130 wildlife sites on the first stage alone will be directly affected, including 10 sites of special scientific interest, an area of outstanding natural beauty and 50 ancient woodlands.”

“We are engaged in a major battle for the environment against global warming. Today we are discussing another battle – the battle for our birds in the United Kingdom. If we do not pay attention to the smallest creatures of our wildlife, we shall end up with a sorry, barren world, in which the next generations will be forced to live,” concluded Dame Cheryl.

The Chesham & Amersham MP called for no work of this nature to take place during the nesting season.

She has asked for details of whether the ecologists tasked with monitoring the areas are visiting on a daily basis to ensure birds and animals are not harmed.

“Since HS2 is a Government project, it is important that Ministers listen carefully to what environmentalists require, so that schemes such as HS2 do not continue to murder our wildlife indiscriminately,” said Dame Cheryl.

The DEFRA Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Mrs Heather Wheeler MP, said that the government shares the concerns about the use of netting and said there will

be legislation in the form of an Environment Bill.

“Unfortunately this Bill hasn’t even been published yet! This Bill cannot come quickly enough,” commented Dame Cheryl after the debate.

“We need the best protection for birds, animals and the ecosystems which support them.”