Bird Control – Pebble Ballast Netting Systems

by Rob

What’s the Problem with Pebble Ballast Roofing?

Gull and Crow problems can be quite common on ballast roofing as the birds will often pick up the large pebble ballast, mistaking the pebbles for food they will drop the stones from a great height in an attempt to open them. This is behaviour they copy from observing their parents, occurring all year round and each pebble should be logged as a “near miss” incident.

Falling pebble ballast is an obvious Health and Safety risk to the general public and all who use the buildings and surrounding areas such as car parks and outside space areas on a daily basis – as an example the most attractive ballast size found dropped measures between 20mm -100mm.

What can be done to Control the Risk?

Increasing the ballast size to greater than 100mm will make most ballast to large for birds to lift but the gaps between the pebbles poses a fire cinder risk to the roof system.

Using smaller ballast will reduce the destructive power of the dropped pebble but sizes smaller than 16mm can be scoured by high winds.

Swapping pebbles for pavers is a partial solution but they are costlier to supply and fit and will not remove the need for ballast in all situations.

The Solution:

Use 14mm or 19mm Eco Pebble Ballast Netting directly over the ballast to prevent Crows or Gulls from picking up the ballast.

This system is more cost effective and flexible than installing pavers.

No Mechanical fixings are required so this system is an ideal bolt on sale for roofing contractors which can be installed after the roof package has been delivered with zero risk to the roof warranty.

Eco Pebble Ballast Netting is unique because it successfully passed the BRE fire tests as part of an inverted ballast roofing system in March 2018.

Case Study:

Willmott Dixon – Finzel’s Reach, Bristol

Eco Environmental worked closely with our client and design team to ensure that the most appropriate Ballast System be installed.

Eco Environmental were asked to prevent birds from picking up the Pebble Ballast, potentially dropping it through glass atria shattering dangerously on to people below. Another risk discussed was the potential for the Pebble Ballast being dropped from height on to cars or pedestrians in the surrounding areas.

The solution required had to be fully compatible with the roofing system used, specifically that no mechanical fixings were to be installed through the roof make up – this was achieved by Eco Environmental supplying and installing our own discreet Ballast Netting System to include for all materials and non-Mechanical fixings.

Are you currently working on any roofing projects that may benefit from a Ballast Netting System – if so call us at Eco Environmental on 01752 669009 or contact us @

Further Bird Control information can be found by visiting

Client Comments

“We had issues with the birds dropping pebbles on parked cars and smashing our sky light glass, they also used to nest on the roof. Since we had the netting installed we have had no further issue with the birds.” – Dave Stiffard of Skanska in relation to our solution at Brunel Academy – Bristol.

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