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Row over netting at Bacton cliffs rumbles on

PUBLISHED: 09:26 16 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:18 16 April 2019

The bird netting on Bacton cliffs is being removed. Picture: NNDC

The bird netting on Bacton cliffs is being removed. Picture: NNDC

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A video has been posted on social media showing dozens of sand martins making a beeline to their nesting holes at Bacton cliffs.

But the row over the installation of bird netting along a 1.3km stretch of the cliffs by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) rumbles on.

The council installed the netting to stop birds nesting before work starts on the Bacton/Walcott Coastal Management Sandscaping scheme.

As part of the scheme, about 1.8m cubic metres of sand will be pumped onto the beaches to protect the coastline from erosion.

The installation of the netting sparked outrage, including protests and calls from the RSPB to see it removed.

NNDC announced on Tuesday, April 9 that it would instruct contractors to remove the upper level of the netting from the cliffs.

At the full council meeting of Norfolk County Council today, Conservative councillor Ian Mackie had a pop at NNDC over the incident.

Andrew Proctor, the council leader, said: “It could have been handled in a far better way had everyone listened to the advice from the right people.”

But NNDC leader Sarah Butikofer replied: “It is interesting that members of the opposition group are not aware that their own party signed up to the arrangements for the netting at the cliffs.

“We have a letter sent by the RSPB on March 29 saying they welcomed the approach by the council. The netting had been put on the cliffs for the protection of those birds.”

Juli Kerr-Brodie, from the Save our Bacton Sand Martins group, said most of the netting had now been removed, but contractors will be on site tidying up until Thursday.

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