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'It is just cruel' - Anger as Tesco installs netting to stop swallows nesting

PUBLISHED: 10:10 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:43 15 March 2019

A Norwich supermarket has been criticised for installing netting to stop migrating birds from nesting. Picture: Kate Blincoe

A Norwich supermarket has been criticised for installing netting to stop migrating birds from nesting. Picture: Kate Blincoe

Archant

A Norwich supermarket has been criticised for installing netting to stop migrating birds from nesting.

Dozens of people, including TV presenter Jake Humphrey, have complained to Tesco after the company installed the nets at its Harford Bridge store.

The supermarket on Ipswich Road has covered the roof of its trolley station where swallows nested last summer.

Residents and shoppers voiced their concerns after pictures of the netting were posted online.

BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey tweeted: “Seriously @Tesco?!? Netting off swallow nesting sites in trolley shelters in Norwich. Experts say returning swallows will get caught and die. Take them down!!!!!”

A Norwich supermarket has been criticised for installing netting to stop migrating birds from nesting. Picture: Kate BlincoeA Norwich supermarket has been criticised for installing netting to stop migrating birds from nesting. Picture: Kate Blincoe

Tesco said the nets were installed to address health and safety concerns over bird droppings falling onto trolleys.

The company said it had followed advice from experts and was encouraging birds to nest at the rear of its store.

A 67-year-old woman from Hellesdon, who does not want to be named, said: “These are little birds who have flown all the way from Africa and they come here and get caught in the nets. It is horrendous.

“I think there has to be another way. One idea is that they could have just put a temporary roof over the trolleys

Swallows nested at the supermarket last summer. Photo: Anne MarksSwallows nested at the supermarket last summer. Photo: Anne Marks

“Apparently it was quite a sight last year to see all the birds nesting there.

“To put netting up is just cruel because they want to land somewhere, but they will just get their feet stuck in this.”

Tesco said: “Following advice from experts, we’re installing netting at the front of the store.

“This is designed to encourage birds to the back of our store which has purposefully been left open so that they can nest here instead.”

After numerous comments on social media the RSPB said: “We’re aware of the situation at Tesco Norwich re-netting the building where swallows traditionally nest.

“We’re currently in discussions to provide advice to support returning swallows and find ways to accommodate them. We’ll advise once we have further detail.”

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