Controversial bird netting to be removed from cliff following public outcry

A council has caved under pressure and pledged to remove a section of the 1.3km of bird netting it has installed on a cliff face in Norfolk.

North Norfolk District Council came under fire after it netted a stretch of Bacton cliff face while it undertook a sandscaping project, involving adding 1.8 million cubic metres of sand to protect Bacton Gas Terminal and nearby villages.

Images emerged on social media showing sand martins unable to reach their burrows in the cliff face, leading local people, the RSPB and eventually housing secretary James Brokenshire to voice their concerns for the birds and over the practice of netting more broadly. Brokenshire wrote to developers - who occasionally net trees and hedgerows on and near development sites - to observe their legal duties towards wildlife or face “action”.

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