March 2011

STIG were horrified to discover the recent netting of hedgerows along the route of the proposed incinerator access road.

STIG received no notification from Cornwall Council of this action, which, as a courtesy, we would have expected.

We understand that this netting is supposed to deter wildlife from nesting.

However we are informed that there is no evidence that this technique works, that ecologists doubt it will be effective and are advising that it should be removed immediately. We note that some birds have been seen collecting nesting materials for weeks now and that smaller birds hide their nests well, to protect them from predators.

The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 states it is an offence to:
Intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird. Intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built. Intentionally take or destroy an egg of any wild bird.

We note that while the nesting bird season is generally considered to be from early March to late August, birds can and do nest earlier and later than this. Birds and wildlife don't do dates, so it is virtually impossible to guarantee that there were no nesting birds already present.

We fear that when netting took place any wildlife present may have become trapped or injured or that existing nests have been made inaccessible and been abandoned, where there may already be eggs or young. What assurances does Cornwall Council have, and from whom, that fatalities or injury were not incurred and that harm has, or will, not be caused by this netting, to breeding and foraging patterns ?

We are aware this netting has been undertaken so as to facilitate the demolition of these ancient hedges immediately IF, the Secretary of State decides to grant permission for the proposed incinerator. That outcome is by no means guaranteed. Therefore this pre-emptive strike on our local wildlife is both unwarranted and vindictive. It is a clear demonstration that the wildlife, as well as the people in our area, are regarded with utter contempt and are considered to be of little value.

These hedges provide a habitat for a variety of species, and this netting will have negative impacts upon the wealth of wildlife that use them.

We request that it is removed immediately.

Below are photos of the netting taken by STIG members