RSPB hit out at HS2 netting in Quainton
The charity has said that the nets should only be used in exceptional circumstances, and are a present danger to wildlife.
While it is an offence to destroy an active nest, there are currently no laws to prevent the installation of nets.
A spokesperson for the RSPB said:
A spokesperson for the RSPB said: “We cannot keep trying to squeeze nature into smaller and smaller spaces or demanding it fits in with our plans. This is an issue we are talking to the Government about as they look at what needs to happen over the next 25 years to stop our wildlife from continuing to vanish at an alarming rate.
"In the UK we have lost over 40 million birds in the last 50 years. So we are looking to the Government to not just ask planners and developers to think about whether it is necessary to remove the trees and hedgerows that are vital for supporting our wildlife, but to ensure that developers replace what they take away.
“If the work is absolutely necessary, then the use of netting could be avoided by tree and hedge removal being completed outside of the nesting season. And, if it is used it is important to remember there are responsibilities to do it properly.
"This means checking for birds and other animals when the netting is fitted, and then ongoing regular checks, as wildlife often finds a way to get under the edge of a net and then get stuck. And, this should be backed up by a commitment to plant new trees and hedges as no one wants to live in a neighbourhood where the sights and sounds of nature have been driven out.”
There has been a petition made against tree 'netting', which as of today has amassed 200,000 signatures.
you can view and sign the petition here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/244233HS2 contend that all work is legal, and they have also employed a ecologist to monitor events at the site.
HS2 maintain that their work is being monitored by ecologists.
In a statement they said: " “The installation of this netting was carried out by HS2 contractors, as part of the pre-works for National Grid’s gas pipeline diversion scheme.
"This temporary netting is to discourage birds from nesting during construction and was installed before the nesting season started.
"The netting was installed under the direction of a suitably experienced ecologist and is monitored daily.”
The RSPB went on to stress the already profound pressure we are placing on our wildlife.
They said: "In the short term, though, we need to act to make sure that we are not making things more difficult now, for wildlife that is already struggling with climate change, habitat loss and development pressure.
"That’s why we think the petition on the Government’s website is a welcome move, and we are encouraging people to sign it. For people living in Wales, you can ask the Welsh Assembly to consider a ban too, please support this call to action.
"Obviously careful consideration will be needed to develop rules around netting that really help birds, and allow legitimate activity to continue. But we cannot stand by and let the current practices spread unchallenged.