Relief for kittiwakes as controversial netting removed

Kittiwakes put down nesting material after netting is removed from the BT building in Lowestoft.

Kittiwakes put down nesting material after netting is removed from the BT building in Lowestoft. - Credit: Kevin Coote/wildlifetog

Netting has been removed from a building in Lowestoft and replaced with bird-friendly ledges a week after three kittiwakes got stuck there and died.

The netting on the BT building on Surrey Street had raised fears over bird safety and its potential risk to kittiwakes.

Kevin Coote, 58, an amateur wildlife photographer who has been following the birds for years, said he was "over the moon".

Kittiwakes at Lowestoft BT building

Ledges have been erected for the kittiwakes at the BT building in Lowestoft. - Credit: Kevin Coote/wildlifetog

"I went there first thing this morning (Sunday, May 16) and the kittiwakes were putting down nesting material," he said.

"We are just so lucky to have them here in this town. They're few and far between."

Kittiwakes at Lowestoft BT building

Ledges have been erected for the kittiwakes at the BT building in Lowestoft. - Credit: Kevin Coote/wildlifetog


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Mr Coote said he had been emailing and phoning BT about the controversial netting for the last fortnight.

But when TV naturalist Chris Packham retweeted his pictures of a kittiwake caught in the netting, "that made all the difference, that put it out into social media, and it went from there", he said.

According to the RSPB, Lowestoft is home to only one of two kittiwake colonies in Suffolk and kittiwake numbers globally have decreased by 40 per cent since the 1970s. 

Mr Cooke tweets and posts his photos on Twitter using the profile wildlifetog.

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