"... nesting is not being made easy in many parts of England, with increased reports of developers covering hedges and trees with netting.There's more discussion at the BBC. There are two sides to every situation. An ethical and conservation-minded developer could "net" a tree to prevent nesting, then remove the nest-free tree and place new nesting trees in the development to ensure no net loss of nesting locations. However, I'm reminded of the Minnesota regulations against damaging wetlands that allow replacement wetlands to be created; such replacements often fail to attract or maintain wildlife the way the original ones did.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) says developers do this to make it easier for them to remove greenery when the time comes, as although it's an offence to destroy an active nest, there are no laws to prevent the installation of nets to stop birds nesting in the first place...
Is it legal? Yes, although the RSPB says there are legal responsibilities such as fitting the netting properly and checking it regularly to make sure birds and animals aren't trapped...
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) says it wants developments to "enhance our natural environment" and has announced plans to require developers to deliver a "biodiversity net gain".
30 March 2019
The purpose of "netting" trees and shrubs