Police probe claim that swallows' nests at Norwich Tesco were destroyed
PUBLISHED: 08:33 08 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:40 09 July 2018
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A Norwich superstore is at the centre of a police investigation, after allegations that a number of Swallows' nests were destroyed.
Norfolk police received reports last month that the nests at Tesco’s Harford Bridge store on the edge of Norwich had been damaged.
Officers are investigating what happened, because the destruction of the nests of wild birds is a crime under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Tesco says the damage was confined to a single nest and was done accidentally during attempts to clean the outdoor area at the superstore.
But police are keen to hear from witnesses who saw what happened, urging them to contact the force directly, or to do so anonymously, via Crimestoppers.
A Norfolk police spokeswoman said: “Police can confirm they are investigating the destruction of a number of Swallow nests under the Wildlife and Country Act 1981 at Tesco Harford Bridge.
“We would like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the destruction of the nests between Friday 1 June and Wednesday 20 June to please contact police on 101.
“Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. They will not take your name and details and your call cannot be traced.”
A Tesco spokesperson apologised for what had happened, but said it had not been intentional.
She said: “We are sorry that during a clean of the outdoor area at our Norwich Harford Bridge superstore a bird nest was accidentally damaged.
“Our store area is home to a number of birds and we take care to protect them. We have reminded all contractors and cleaners to take care near the nests.”
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, all birds, their nests and eggs are protected by law. That makes it offence to intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird; take, to damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built or to take or destroy the egg of any wild bird.
Penalties that can be imposed for criminal offences in respect of a single bird, nest or egg, contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, is an unlimited fine, up to six month’s imprisonment or both.