laws on cutting garden hedges with active birds nests in urgeent

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laws on cutting garden hedges with active birds nests in urgeent

  • I have a  long hedge all along my garden which is always very active it seems with birds nests in but my neighbour seems to think i should cut it  back at all times but as i am a bird lover i  dont want to and i am sure there is a law against when the cutting should be done, I hasten to add this hedge is not out of control i do have it  trimmed        yearloy when i know there are no nest in  hopefully some one can  enlighten me on the laws thanks

  • Hi Maddy.

    you should find that the birds will nest near the middle of the hedge, so the cutting should not be a worry, try to cut after breeding season, its alway good to keep on good terms with your neighbours, they can force you to cut your hedge ( well the council can ) what kind of hedge is it?

  • Hi Maddy,

    The below statement is from the wildlife and countryside act. It is also mentioned in the advice pages on the RSPB webiste.

    I have included this link relating to the Law and advice about cutting hedges.

    http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/gardening/planting/hedges/the_law.asp

    It is an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built.

    It will be an intentional act, for example, if you or your neighbour know there is an active nest in the hedge and still cut the hedge, damaging or destroying the nest in the process.

    I would suggest you print off a copy and have a coffeee and chat with your neighbour and inform them of the legalities.

    Regards Buzzard

  • Hi Maddy suggest you follow RSPB official line and do not trim between 1st March and 31st August.Hedge will come to no harm normally if cut once a year even but may look a bit untidy and if you did trim it and disturbed nesting bird it would be a criminal offence as I understand it.

    Farmers in conservation schemes are rewarded if they only trim hedges every 2 years so on that basis it would certainly help birds if gardeners trimmed once a year. 

  • Maddy

    I have a  long hedge all along my garden which is always very active it seems with birds nests in but my neighbour seems to think i should cut it  back at all times but as i am a bird lover i  dont want to and i am sure there is a law against when the cutting should be done, I hasten to add this hedge is not out of control i do have it  trimmed        yearloy when i know there are no nest in  hopefully some one can  enlighten me on the laws thanks

    Hi Maddy, you are doing the right thing trimming when you know there are no nesting birds.  It is a criminal offence to distrurb birds or their nests in the breeding season so it is best to stay on the safe side and leave it during that time.

    Though what business it is of your neighbours what you do with your garden I have no idea!

  • Hi Maddy

    I would put your foot down in a polite way, and state to your neighbour that you are not going to break the law about nesting birds.

    As to what has been mentioned here about the law about trimming hedges, yes a printout handed to your neighbour would be a good idea too.

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

    KatTai

    Maddy

    I have a  long hedge all along my garden which is always very active it seems with birds nests in but my neighbour seems to think i should cut it  back at all times but as i am a bird lover i  dont want to and i am sure there is a law against when the cutting should be done, I hasten to add this hedge is not out of control i do have it  trimmed        yearloy when i know there are no nest in  hopefully some one can  enlighten me on the laws thanks

    Hi Maddy, you are doing the right thing trimming when you know there are no nesting birds.  It is a criminal offence to distrurb birds or their nests in the breeding season so it is best to stay on the safe side and leave it during that time.

    Though what business it is of your neighbours what you do with your garden I have no idea!

  •  I have hedges all round my garden and over the years have grown it to 6 feet high, this is used every year by birds to nest in, mostly Blackbirds and hedgesparrows but we do get robins, wrens, and a few other birds in it.... this hedge is mixed evergreen and is well mentained by myself... i only cut this hedge once a year usually on the 31st AUG weekend and have never seen a nest in it with eggs or young later then that.

    It is against the law to willingly damage or destroy and nest so i did leave the hedge along between march 1st and the end of Aug as that is the main breeding period

  • Maddy

    I have a  long hedge all along my garden which is always very active it seems with birds nests in but my neighbour seems to think i should cut it  back at all times but as i am a bird lover i  dont want to and i am sure there is a law against when the cutting should be done, I hasten to add this hedge is not out of control i do have it  trimmed        yearloy when i know there are no nest in  hopefully some one can  enlighten me on the laws thanks

    I only cut my hedge when birds are not nesting, usually leave it to late summer.

    On the occasion I did need to cut it in spring I found a female blackbird on eggs so left a section where she was and finished it after they fledged, looked like we had a castle turret in the hedge.

     

  • Hello Maddy, hedge cutting is a tricky issue. There is no law to prevent hedges or trees being cut at a particular time of year so in theory they could be cut in the breeding season. However, birds nests are protected all year round so if there is an active nest at any time of year then it can't be trimmed if the nest would be damaged.

    We would certainly recommend leaving hedges alone between March and September. It's still worth checking for nests outside this period because some birds such as woodpigeons and collared doves will sometimes nest in winter.  If you need to trim the hedge then cutting it in late winter is the best time. This avoids the breeding season and allows the berry crop to be taken in autumn and most of winter.