Tyne & Wear

Newcastle netting replaced after kittiwake deaths

A kittiwake underneath the replacement netting Image copyright NCJMedia
Image caption A kittiwake was photographed under netting shortly after the building's owners said "there should be no further issues"

Damaged netting that trapped endangered gulls on Tyneside has been replaced.

The netting, on the Exchange Buildings on Newcastle's Quayside, was intended to prevent birds nesting but campaigners warned it was leading to the death of kittiwakes.

The building's owners said there "should be no further issues in respect of birds getting trapped".

However, photographs taken shortly after it was put in place showed a bird underneath a net.

The building houses a Premier Inn and other businesses.

A spokesman for its owners, Lambert Smith Hampton, said an inspection found the previous netting had been damaged "likely due to wear and tear", the Local Democracy Service reports.

He added: "We understand the need for regular surveillance and will be making frequent inspections of the building's facade going forward."

Image copyright Blyth Wildlife Rescue
Image caption Posts on social media earlier this week showed birds trapped in the netting on buildings on Lombard Street

TV presenter Chris Packham was among people who spoke out earlier this week, saying kittiwakes were "becoming entangled" and calling for the nets to be removed completely.

The birds which nest in the Quayside area are said to be the furthest inland colony of kittiwakes in the world.

The black-legged kittiwake was added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species in December.

When approached for comment earlier this week, Newcastle City Council said it was "saddened" by the incidents and took "great care" to protect kittiwakes, providing additional nesting sites where practical.

It said it works with an ecologist whenever businesses want to install a deterrent.

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