Obviously stuff has been going on for a while and it’s failed to reach my radar. Now I feel as if I am assailed on all sides by the very real threat us humans are to the planet. How did I not take notice of this before? I feel really bad. What is so interesting is that algorithms on social media are now delivering all kinds of ‘information’ to me because I have ‘shown an interest in similar posts’. The first of these to really grab my attention was a new Facebook page about the netting of Sand Martin nest sites at Bacton Sands in Norfolk. Local residents harnessed the power of social media to campaign for the removal of the nest as Sand Martins, having flown thousands of miles to nest, were arriving exhausted with entrance to their nesting sites barred. So successful was their campaign, especially once the press and TV heard about it, that the nets have been removed (a difficult task on sandy cliffs needing abseilers) and yesterday Sand Martins were actually taking up residence in their nests.
A fabulous conclusion. But this served to reveal an astonishing practice which I had previously not appreciated. That of – mostly – building contractors placing nets over trees and particularly hedgerows to prevent birds from nesting so that they can then remove them whenever building dictates. A Facebook Page – Nesting not Netting – includes a map plotting where these nets are being used – the number is really quite astonishing. At a time when we are finally waking up to the need to protect our world and all that contributes to it’s ecology there is all this deliberate destruction going on. And probably has been for a while. The justifications are extraordinary – saving birds from nesting in the hedgerows and then having their nests destroyed (ie – it’s a good thing to put the nets up!!) My feeling is that hedgerows provide year round habitats not just for birds – for all types of wildlife as well has being a living, growing entity in it’s own right which should be nurtured and preserved, not destroyed!
Another example of short term behaviour with disregards the long term impact on the planet.