Birds and their hatchling could get trapped and die if netting is installed under a South London Bridge, a resident has warned.

Local animal rights activist, Saffron Gloyne, fears Sutton Council is planning on using the “very cruel” practice at a spot where birds have been nesting for around 30 years.

Saffron rushed to Carshalton Bridge on Wednesday (March 8) when surveyors were spotted inspecting the arch. 

She claims she was told Sutton Council had plans of installing netting under the bridge.

She said: “I raced down there and spoke to the contractors, they said they know it is illegal to interfere with nests but the birds would have to go when the netting goes up.

"I was shocked because Network Rail does not use it anymore because it doesn’t work and it is very, very cruel.

“He told me it was Sutton Council, I have written to the council to find out what their plans are. Ideally, I would like to advise them against doing it.

“These birds have been living there for more than 30 years, mostly pigeons.

"They spend the day around Carshalton Ponds then at night they go to the bridge to sleep.

“Because the birds have been living there for decades they will get at the netting trying to get in. If they get trapped in, the longest they could survive is three days.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in the community that sees there is anything wrong with the birds being there.”

Saffron said there are babies nesting under the bridge and fears the birds could be trapped in or jet washed off.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is campaigning for laws to be introduced for governments to ensure the “recovery of nature” which would bring practices like using netting under closer scrutiny.

The conservation charity said: “We cannot stand by and let current practices that risk harming wildlife spread unchallenged.

"We all need nature in our lives which means giving birds and other wildlife more room, not less, to breed, feed and sing.”

Sutton Council were approached but did not give a comment before publication.