Tesco Norwich swallow chicks hatch after nets removed

The swallow chicks in the nest Image copyright Dave Jones
Image caption Swallow chicks have been spotted in a nest by shopper Dave Jones at a supermarket which had put up nets after complaints about droppings

Swallow chicks have hatched in a nest outside a supermarket which had installed nets to keep the birds away.

Tesco put up the nets at its Harford Bridge store in Norwich in March but removed them within days after criticism that birds could be harmed.

A swallow nest soon appeared and is now home to at least three chicks.

Tesco said it was pleased to hear the news, while the RSPB said: "There is nothing more heartening than the sight and sound of happy chicks."

The charity said swallows return to the "same nest sites year-on-year".

"Tesco made the right decision in making room for the swallows, and we look forward to their return in 2020 and the years to follow," it added.

Shopper Dave Jones pictured the chicks in the nest and tweeted that his family were not the only ones "happy to see that Tesco took down the bird netting".

Image caption Netting was erected to protect the trolley area from bird droppings, the store said
Image copyright Kevin Murphy
Image caption Pictures on Twitter appeared to show birds were nesting at the supermarket after nets were removed

The store had installed netting above the trolley park after complaints about bird droppings.

It received widespread criticism on social media, with many people concerned that the birds could get caught in it and die.

Tesco then said it had decided to "temporarily" remove the nets after listening to feedback, and birds settled on the building within days.

Chris Skinner, a Norfolk farmer and conservationist who has monitored the Harford Bridge swallows since they arrived six years ago, had previously said they flew 5,000 miles from South Africa to their summer nesting sites.

Earlier this week, broadcaster Chris Packham described sand martin chicks fledging at Bacton, Norfolk, as a "triumph of public will" after a campaign forced the council to remove netting.

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