Sun, 31 Mar 2019
BOTH the RSPCA and police have been informed after more birds became trapped in netting in Theale over the weekend.
A video of a bird getting stuck in the hedgerows has been retweeted more than 500 times and prompted a huge backlash on social media.
The RSPCA has described the video as "awful" and said it would be investigated.
As reported in the Newbury Weekly News last week, the netting has been draped over approximately 200 metres of hedgerow close to the North Street playing fields, where a new £8m primary school will soon be built.
A number of birds have now had to be freed by residents and it has brought the legality of the decision into question.
West Berkshire Council insisted that the installation of the netting, which was carried out by a licenced ecologist employed by building contractor Kier, was "entirely legal".
Last week, under intense scrutiny at a public meeting, the council claimed the netting had holes in because it was, at some stage, vandalised.
That claim was described by West Berkshire Green Party chairwoman Carolyne Culver as "bulls***".
The council also said it wanted to discourage birds from nesting in the hedgerows because it could cause delays to the opening of the new school, which has already been pushed back once.
A spokesman for RSPB East responded to the video by saying: "If you think that the landowner is aware that wild birds are being caught in their netting but has not remedied the situation then the local wildlife crime officer should be informed."
Meanwhile, the RSPCA (England and Wales) tweeted: "Awful :( Thank you for taking the time to report this to us."
More than 130 people have commented on the video, with many branding the netting as a "disgrace", with others threatening to rip it down.
For more on this story, including all the reaction, pick up a copy of Thursday's Newbury Weekly News.