Chatsworth have responded to our concerns about bird nest netting. We would like to see more done.

Below is the response from Chatsworth Estate CEO to our open letter together with our reply. We’d like to see more done.

To Ted Cadogan, 
Chief Operating Officer
Chatsworth House

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is extremely disappointed by the response of Chatsworth to our open letter asking for the removal of anti-swallow & nesting nets on their sites.

We appreciate your swift reply but are concerned that you are not going to remove the nets. With swallows and house martins returning now from Africa, after migrating thousands of miles, this issue is urgent and we are further disappointed that you have declined to meet to discuss this.

We understand you are following planning approval from the Peak District National Park. We disagree with this decision. Putting up nets risks injury and death for Swallows and other breeding birds. These birds have been nesting at Chatsworth House for hundreds of years, a fact that should be cause for celebration. We are sure it is for many of your visitors and staff.

We still hope that Chatsworth will change it’s mind and remove the nets.  Even at this late stage, there is still time for birds that are looking to start nesting.

And we are still very much open to meeting with you to discuss this matter further and offer our advice.


With hope,

Tim Birch
Director of Nature's Recovery
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Chatsworth Estate's response to our open letter...

Dear Mr Birch,

Thank you for your email on 24 April, which was forwarded to me by Jonathan Fish.

The measures that the Peak District National Park gave permission for, are to protect a limited number of significant stone sculptures on the house from the damage caused by bird droppings.  As part of the planning application, we commissioned an ecologist to produce a mitigation strategy, which included a nest survey. The survey identified 11 nest sites in total on the house, all indicative of swallows. No evidence of swifts was seen, and it was noted in the report that generally their habitat preferences are such that the areas in question would not be favoured by swifts. The mitigation strategy recommended that we install 10 - 12 artificial nest sites, to compensate for the loss of existing areas used by swallows. We installed 12 swallow cups on other parts of the house, which were in addition to four we installed previously. We also installed three double swift boxes.

We are grateful for the offer to discuss alternative methods to protect the house, however the measures that we have put in place have been approved by the Peak District National Park, and exceed the recommendations included in the mitigation strategy.

The Chatsworth Estate contains a high level of cherished biodiversity, and we continue to work to preserve this natural heritage and support wildlife, while maintaining Chatsworth House, the collections, garden, woodlands and park for the long-term benefit of the public.


Yours sincerely

Ted Cadogan

Chief Operating Officer



Click here to read our original letter to Chatsworth