Home   Lowestoft   Article

BT agrees to remove netting from Lowestoft premises after RSPB and Chris Packham call for building owners to 'give rare kittiwakes the space to raise their young'

A national company has said it can remove some netting from one of its premises in Suffolk after a charity and a TV presenter called on building owners to allow rare birds to reach their nesting sites.

A spokesman for BT said it had met with the RSPB today after the wildlife charity urged building owners in Lowestoft to take nets off of their properties in the town - which is home to one of only two kittiwake colonies in Suffolk.

The RSPB posted a video of a kittiwake struggling with netting on a building in the town on Twitter on Tuesday and said it was 'heart breaking to see kittiwakes find their home nesting sites blocked by nets in Lowestoft'.

The charity said it was asking building owners like BT and Papa Johns to 'do the right thing and remove the netting so these gentle birds have space to raise their young' - a message that was shared by wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham.

Since that post, BT - which has a building on Surrey Street - said it had met with the RSPB today to 'explore what we can do to support the kittiwakes'.

A BT spokesman said: "We require constant access to our roof space to maintain critical networks, including the 999 network.

"However, we can safely remove the netting from one side of the building that will provide nesting spaces for the kittiwakes.

“We continue to work closely with the RSPB to find the best ways to maintain our networks and protect birds."

Papa Johns has been approached for a comment.

Meanwhile, the RSPB thanked Lowestoft's Paul Hubbard Estate Agents, which it had tagged in its original post, as they had contacted them yesterday and were 'very helpful with the netted properties on Pier Terrace'.

They added: "They don't own them & have had no involvement since 2019. They've tried to help find the owner but no luck so far. We'll keep trying. Thanks again.

"We apologise to @PHEstateAgents for incorrectly identifying them as one of the building owners. They have done nothing wrong and we thank them again for their help in trying to identify the owner and protect the kittiwakes."

A spokesman for the RSPB said kittiwake numbers have decreased 40 per cent globally since the 1970s.

"Lowestoft provides a vital home for these globally vulnerable birds on both a local and national scale," they added.

"It is heart breaking to see so many buildings in Lowestoft covered in netting to prevent these wonderful rare birds from nesting and raising their young.

"We cannot keep trying to squeeze nature into smaller and smaller spaces or demanding it fits in with our plans when we are in a Nature and Climate Emergency.

"This is why the RSPB is calling on building owners and tenants of Lowestoft, including BT and Papa Johns to remove the nets on their property and give rare kittiwakes the space to raise their young."

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk

Read more: All the latest news from Lowestoft