Birds: Conservation

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th July 2019.

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Photo of David Warburton David Warburton Conservative, Somerton and Frome

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to include provisions in the proposed Environment Bill to tackle the use of netting on hedges, hedgerows and trees on development sites.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Environment Bill measures are currently being finalised and will be published in due course.

On netting specifically, while it is not an offence to use netting to exclude birds from potential nesting sites, such action should only be used to help protect birds during development. It is for those who take exclusion measures to ensure the mesh size of netting is suitable for the species involved and is properly maintained so they don’t harm wild birds. We expect local planning authorities to look at these practices closely and take appropriate action where necessary.

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