Open letter to the Chatsworth Estate

In response to our members' concerns about netting of bird nesting sites at Chatsworth House and Estate we have sent the following open letter.

To Ted Cadogan, 
Chief Operating Officer
Chatsworth House

Swallows and swifts are now arriving back here after their long journey from Africa to nest and breed but are finding many of their nesting and roosting places gone. This is leading to a worrying decline in numbers and we’re less likely these days to see these delightful summer visitors flying over our homes and countryside.   
 
We would therefore welcome the opportunity to talk with you please about the issue of netting these birds’ nesting sites at Chatsworth House and on your estate. Chatsworth House and your estate are vital links in creating a nature recovery network for Derbyshire’s wildlife and people.
 
We are extremely concerned and believe that any netting to prevent birds from nesting is wrong and unnecessary and poses a risk of serious injury or death to these birds if they try to access the places that are netted. We urge you to reconsider the use of netting where these birds nest and remove them as quickly as possible. They are part of our national heritage as much as Chatsworth and we would be keen to explore ways with you where these endangered birds can live alongside you. These birds regularly nest on buildings and have done so for hundreds of years across the UK. 
 
We understand that artificial nest sites have been provided for some of the species impacted which we welcome. We would be delighted to share our conservation expertise and advice to look further at alternative methods that protect both the Estate’s architectural as well as natural heritage and work with you to find a solution that is both beneficial for the birds and Chatsworth’s much loved and well known features. 
 
I look forward to hearing from you,

Tim Birch
Director of Nature's Recovery
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust