Demonstration cancelled as bird netting removed from hedgerow

Environmental activists have removed anti-bird netting from a hedgerow next to a site earmarked from housing.

The netting has now been removed from Rocks Green. Picture: Andy Boddington
The netting has now been removed from Rocks Green. Picture: Andy Boddington

A demonstration against the netting, installed by Pickstock Homes at Rocks Green in Ludlow, had been due to take place on Sunday.

But the event has now been cancelled after the netting was removed.

The developer has said it willl not be replacing the netting, but will still remove part of the hedge to provide access to the site.

The netting appeared early last month to prevent birds nesting in the hedge, and quickly led to protests from conservationists and Councillor Andy Boddington.

Similar netting has also appeared in Pontesbury.

But April Boardman, who had planned Sunday's protest, said she was disappointed by the actions of those who removed the netting.

'Own goal'

Councillor Boddington also described the action as an own goal.

"This is not something I wanted to happen in that way," she said.

"What I had hoped for was to hold the protest and gain the right sort of media attention, and in an ideal world had hoped the developer would have removed the net instead.

"As it is, I am glad the net is down but this action hasn't won the war.

"I don't believe people vandalising nets around the country will help to educate developers to behave more responsibly nor will it help our petition against netting to be passed."

Councillor Boddington added: "I can see why they thought there was a need to remove the netting, but this action has trashed the opportunity to raise the profile of the netting issue in Shropshire.

"It may have got some people a buzz but I am far from convinced it was the best thing to do."

Pickstock Homes has permission to build 200 homes on the site.

Mrs Boardman said she had spoken to the managing director of the company, who has confirmed it would not be putting the net back up.

"However they will still be removing part of that hedge, in order to make access to the development site, they will do this under ecologist advice and only if the part of the hedge that they are removing is free of nests," she said.

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