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High drama as peregrine falcon rescued from cliff

A peregrine falcon was rescued by firefighters today after becoming trapped in netting designed to keep a cliff face from collapsing.


The bird became trapped in netting that is wrapped around High Rock in Bridgnorth, which rises alongside the A442 heading towards Telford.

The bird was spotted by John Webb, who with his friend Mervyn Tromans regularly checks the netting for signs of trapped birds.

Firefighters were called out to at about 3.15pm and police closed the road while the bird was freed.

The falcon is now in the care of the RSPCA.

Mr Webb, a member of the Bridgnorth Team Ministry, said: "It was Mervyn who first saw that one of the birds was trapped.

"We were viewing from the opposite side of the river, from the path that runs alongside the golf course and when we saw that a bird was trapped contacted the RSPCA and RSPB to ask for their assistance in releasing it.

"This has always been a fear of ours that a bird would be trapped in the netting and it seems stuck fast and won't be easy to release."

The netting was installed in 2012 to prevent rocks falling on to the A442. Large football size pieces had fallen on to the carriageway, though the last time this happened was back in 1993.

Special provisions had to be made when the netting was installed to protect the peregrine falcons resident in High Rock, which are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Work on the cliff face included the construction of special nesting ledges within the netting to ensure the rare birds' breeding patterns are not disturbed.

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