Netting at flats in Bridlington ‘killing birds’

Whitby Wildlife volunteers Steven Ault and Jane Carter
Whitby Wildlife volunteers Steven Ault and Jane Carter

Two wildlife volunteers have spoken out about their concern over an ongoing issue in town.

Jane Carter and Steven Ault have visited a property with bird netting on the roof 80 to 90 times in the last few years, they say, after seeing birds trapped in the structure.

The property on Fort Terrace that the volunteers frequently visit

The property on Fort Terrace that the volunteers frequently visit

The Whitby Wildlife volunteers say that they have exhausted all avenues to combat the problem that they feel needs addressing.

Steven said: “There is one piece of netting at an address on Fort Terrace which has trapped around 50 red-list protected seabirds since it was erected in April 2015. Around half have died while the others have been rescued.”

They describe the netting as “cruel” for a town with a “seagull population”.

RSPCA inspector Geoff Edmond said: “We have spoken to the concerned members of the public and will work with them on this matter. We are aware of the issue and will look into it.”

Mr Edmond also added that bird netting is not illegal.

Birds have been rescued from the netting at Fort Terrace by Whitby Wildlife volunteers, the fire brigade and by the RSPCA.

Volunteer Jane added: “Me and Steven can only help them when we see them. It’s just awful they are suffering and dying up there for no reason.

“We have always got to call the fire brigade out and it has a massive impact on them as well as being very costly.”

On a document relating to wild bird and netting produced by the RSPCA it states that: “Bird deterrent netting can be an effective means of keeping birds off structures as it can prevent problems without needing to resort to other measures such as killing birds. However, it’s vitally important that any netting is properly installed and maintained.

“Problems arise when netting is incorrectly installed or when it becomes damaged and is not repaired, leaving gaps where birds are able to enter and become trapped. If the netting is not checked or maintained, there is a risk that birds may suffer and die from injury or starvation.

“If a bird becomes trapped behind netting, the owner of the building where the netting is situated should be informed.”

A spokesperson from the RSPB said: “Property owners are responsible for maintaining any bird deterrents on their buildings, including netting. If the owner of this property is aware that it is trapping birds they should be taking action to make it safe.”