A BIRD lover has expressed her horror at seeing five dead birds hanging from a netting at Chorley Hospital.

Beryl Gavin, 64, was with her seven-year-old granddaughter, Cheryl, when she saw the four sparrows and a robin which had perished after becoming ensnared in the net.

The roof-top netting had put up around a walled garden within the hospital to prevent birds defecating.

On learning of the tragic deaths a spokesman from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds said the hospital may be breaking the Wildlife Countryside Act by causing unnecessary pain for birds.

Now the hospital has pledged to investigate and said that if it is breaking the law it will remove the net immediately.

Patient Beryl, of Northbrook Road, Leyland, is a passionate bird lover and often feeds birds in her back garden during the winter.

She said: "It was ghastly. I was looking through the window and my granddaughter, Cheryl, said 'what are those down there?'

"There was this wire meshing and the little birds were just dangling in it dead.

"I had to tell my granddaughter they were sleeping.

"There were four sparrows and a robin. There looked like there had been some in there before as there were sections cut out in the netting.

"I just thought it was so cruel as it would have taken them a long time to die."

Mrs Gavin said she complained about the dangerous meshing to the hospital but so far it has not been removed.

An RSPB spokesman said: "This is a difficult issue. We think the net may contravene the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

"The physical act of putting up the net is not an offence. But the unnecessary suffering of birds who have become trapped could contravene the act.

"If the hospital contact us, we will talk them through other options for ridding them of the nuisance in a more humane manner."

A Chorley Hospital spokesperson said: "Our estate department is now looking into the problem of the birds getting trapped.

"They are looking at different ways in which we can deal with this issue.

"The netting covers the garden to stop the birds from defecating.

"If we are breaking law, as the RSPB stated we might be, the net will be taken down immediately."