Parliamentary debate on protecting nesting sites for birds as more than 2,000 Wirral residents sign petition

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15 May 2019
A debate on protecting nesting sites for birds has taken place in Parliament after a petition on the issue received more than 350,000 signatures nationwide.

At the time of writing, 2,057 Wirral residents had signed the petition called “Make 'netting' hedgerows to prevent birds from nesting a criminal offence”.

Petition organisers argue that developers are circumventing laws protecting birds by 'netting' hedgerows to prevent birds from nesting. They say that this facilitates the uprooting of hedgerows which aid biodiversity and provide the only remaining nesting sites for birds, whose numbers are in sharp decline.

Organisers also state that 'netting' hedgerows presents a danger by entrapment to wildlife and produces large amounts of plastic waste.

The parliamentary debate was attended by Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood. Ms Greenwood, who is Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, was unable to speak in the debate due to parliamentary rules that prevent shadow ministers from speaking on issues outside their policy area.

Speaking after the debate, Margaret Greenwood said:

“So far 552 Wirral West residents have signed the petition: it is clear that this is an issue of real importance to people in Wirral.

“Although I was disappointed not to be able to speak in the debate, I was pleased to be able to attend and listen to the points put forward by other MPs.

“Parliament recently declared a climate and environmental emergency. Protecting wildlife has a key part to play in our response to that.

“Netting around bird nesting sites contributes to habitat loss. We know that birds and butterfly species are declining at an alarming rate so it is important we take action as a matter of urgency.

“We all need to do our bit to put pressure on developers and others to ensure that the cruel and inhumane practice of netting precious bird nesting sites comes to an end.

“I have written to the Minister about the importance of protecting nesting sites and look forward to sharing his response with Wirral West residents. Any constituents with an interest in this issue may contact my office to request a copy.”

You can still sign the petition by visiting the link below and following the instructions:

Anyone can set up a petition about an issue they care about by visiting and selecting the ‘Start a petition’ option. If any petition gets 10,000 signatures, the government will issue a response to it. If a petition gets 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament.