Firefighters rescue kittiwake caught in controversial netting

kittiwakes

A kittiwake struggles in netting. Firefighters rescued another bird on Sunday night. - Credit: wildlifetog

Firefighters had to rescue a kittiwake which had become stuck in controversial netting installed on a Lowestoft building.

Concerns had previously been raised about the netting, which has been installed on the BT building on Surrey Street in Lowestoft and on the Papa John's premises franchised to a landlord in Station Square.

Photos and videos taken in Lowestoft show kittiwakes, which only have two colonies in the whole of Suffolk, becoming entangled in netting.

The RSPB and television presenter Chris Packham are among those who had raised fears over the netting and its potential risk to rare kittiwakes.

And, on the evening of Sunday, May 9, Red Watch firefighters from Lowestoft South Fire Station went out to rescue a kittiwake which had got caught in the netting on the Station Square building.

The crew tweeted how they had used a 13.5 metre ladder and working at height kit to release the trapped bird.

Lowestoft has one of only two colonies of kittiwakes in Suffolk and the controversy has led to calls from the RSPB to protect the species.

A spokeswoman for the RSPB said: "Kittiwakes are as endangered as giant pandas so it’s really important that we embrace, look after and celebrate our local population in Lowestoft.

"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."

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A spokesperson for Papa John's last week confirmed the building on Station Square is franchised and that the company would be contacting the landlord to enquire whether they are aware of the netting's impact on the kittiwakes.

BT has confirmed it is looking into new types of netting and said last week that one side of its building would have netting removed to allow more kittiwakes to nest.

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