Wales | Hedgerow netting that stops birds nesting

Another Spring, another use of netting to stop birds from nesting so as not to inconvenience (or cost) a developer – this time from Powys in Wales. Why would anyone net a hedge? Because while active nests of almost all bird species are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (see Nesting birds and the Law), stopping them from nesting in the first place is not. So, as a pre-emptive strike (and often even before the development has been given permission to go ahead) developers are putting up nets (or recommending others do it).

And what a handy excuse it’s becoming. Note in the article below the either breathtakingly ignorant or breathtakingly mendacious claim that netting a hedgerow “should not be interpreted as pre-empting the planning process“.

Over-use of pesticides, intensive agriculture, an obsession with ‘tidiness’, massive habitat change, and now determined efforts to stop our birds from nesting. Little wonder why we are living in one of the most nature-depleted regions on the planet…

If you’d like to do something about this disgraceful ‘method’ of denying nesting places to birds please follow Stewart Abbott on Twitter and join the #Nestsnotnets and #mapofshame campaigns


Environmental campaigners are concerned that a developer has “netted a hedgerow” to stop birds nesting in it, before a scheme for the site is approved.

Residents raised their concerns with Montgomeryshire branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) that netting had appeared on hedges at the entrance to a field, near Caersws, where it is proposed to build a Crematorium.

Powys Crematorium Limited intends building an all-new crematorium at a 13.66 hectare site north of the B4568 road at Ael Y Bryn between Caersws and Aberhafesp.

A spokesman for the Montgomeryshire CPRW branch, said: “The netting is hazardous to wildlife.

“Since the application has not yet been granted, it is felt that this unnecessary action is jumping the gun, and appears to predetermine a decision.

“Given that this is also in the Registered Historic Landscape of the Caersws basin the action would seem to be totally unwarranted.

“Furthermore, the area is a sanctuary for rare curlews, red kites and buzzards, often seen and heard in the fields.

“It is of concern that the fitting of the netting on the hedgerow would seem to indicate that the developer treats the local wild birds, such as chaffinch, robin, blue tits, coal tits, sparrow and blackbird, with total disregard and as an inconvenience to a development.”

They point out that no date for when the plans will be brought in front of Powys County Council’s Planning committee for a decision.

Powys Crematorium Ltd spokesperson, Miss A Barrett, said that the measure had been done to protect wildlife in the event of the development getting the go-ahead.

She believed it should not to be interpreted as pre-empting the planning process.

The application was submitted in December 2020, and it was revealed Powys County Councillor for Dolforwyn, Cllr Gareth Pugh (Conservative), is registered as the only company director for Powys Crematorium Limited on the Companies House website.

Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter, Nation Cymru, 08 March 21