Wales

Anglesey council defends anti-bird netting

A hedgerow covered in plastic netting Image copyright Arwyn Roberts/Reach PLC
Image caption Netting has been placed on hedgerows surrounding the site of a new "super" primary school in Llangefni

The council for a county which became the first in the UK to be declared "plastic free" has defended covering hedges with netting to deter birds.

The nets appeared ahead of construction of a multi-million-pound "super school" in Llangefni, on Anglesey.

But the RSPB claims the nets risk trapping birds or denying them nesting.

Anglesey council said efforts to make the county plastic-free "will not happen out overnight" and contractors had acted "as sensitively as possible".

The island county was awarded plastic-free status by environmental group Surfers Against Sewage last month.

Developers' practice of covering trees and hedges with netting has become more common as a way of avoiding delays to construction projects.

'Trapped, injured or worse'

The development is part of a reorganisation project which will see Ysgol Bodffordd and Ysgol Corn Hir schools replaced by a bigger school.

But the use of plastic netting for this purpose has been criticised by the RSPB, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

"We cannot keep trying to squeeze nature into smaller and smaller spaces or demand that wildlife fits in with our plans," a spokesman said.

"We have all seen the problems netting can cause by trapping birds or denying them nesting sites.

"Netting must be used sparingly and only if there is absolutely no alternative, and with regular monitoring to ensure that our wildlife is not getting trapped, injured or worse."

A council spokesman added: "This netting was erected before the nesting season to prevent birds from nesting there.

"This will ensure that no birds are displaced should the hedge be removed.

"We are a council that aspires to see our island become plastic-free. We are working on several fronts to achieve this, but this will not happen overnight."

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