Roofers disturb nesting birds in Welwyn Garden City
NESTING birds have been disturbed by contractors carrying out repair work on council homes in WGC.
Starlings and house sparrows are said to have been affected in Thistle Grove over the past week as workmen carry out roofing repairs in the area.
One resident, who asked not to be named, said she warned roofers “several times” as to the existence of a sparrow’s nest on one particular property.
She has since taken in seven of the affected chicks, pictured, and is rearing them herself.
According to the RSPB’s website, it is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to damage or destroy an active nest or prevent parent birds access to their nests.
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However, a spokeswoman for the Welwyn Hatfield Community Housing Trust, which manages the borough council’s social housing stock, said: “Following work to strip the roof tiles on a property last week, a bird’s nest was discovered.
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“The Community Housing Trust instructed its contractor, Mears, to stop work immediately and return at a later date, both in this case and any others where contractors see any signs of nesting birds.”
She added: “Unfortunately, it is not always evident that there are nesting birds in roofs, as there are sometimes no outward signs of nests, but every effort is being made to check before works start.”
An RSPB spokeswoman confirmed officers had been made aware of issues in Thistle Grove.
A statement from the charity added: “General home improvements and building work are best left until the end of the summer and the breeding season to ensure that the nest sites are no longer in use.
“If it is not possible to carry out the work at this time, it can be brought forward as necessary, but with caution and guidance.
“The most important consideration is to avoid such work during the breeding season.”