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Hedge trimming during Bird Nesting Season - The Facts

Posted on March 22, 2023

Spring is here and with it comes the start of nesting season. As we all know, birds make their homes in trees and hedges during this time of year. This means that if you have hedges that need trimming, you need to be extra careful to ensure that no harm comes to any nesting birds.

This is where Teign Trees & our team of fully qualified Arborists come in. An arborist is a trained professional who has the knowledge and experience to assess the health of your trees and hedges, and to carry out any necessary work in a way that will not harm the wildlife that call them home.

One of the first things our teams will do is carry out a thorough survey of the hedge to identify any signs of active bird nests. They will look for nests, eggs, or signs of bird activity. If they find any signs of nesting, they will advise you on the best course of action. If the nest is active, they will advise you to postpone the work until the nesting season is over. If the work cannot be postponed due to safety reasons, Teign Trees will advise you on the steps that can be taken to minimise the impact on the nesting birds.

If the birds have already fledged, Teign Trees will advise you on the best way to proceed with the hedge trimming. This may involve carefully removing the nest and any debris that has accumulated around it, before proceeding with the trimming work. Once the work is complete, Teign Trees will also advise you on how to maintain the hedge in a way that will encourage wildlife to thrive, such as leaving some areas untrimmed to provide shelter and ideal nesting sites.

It’s important to remember that while the law protects nesting birds, it is also important to carry out hedge trimming work for safety reasons. Overgrown hedges can pose a risk to people and property, especially during high winds. By working with Teign Trees, you can get your hedges trimmed safely and responsibly.

When choosing an arborist, like Teign Trees, to trim your hedges, make sure to choose someone who is experienced and knowledgeable. Look for reviews online to ensure that they have a good reputation. It's also important to make sure that they are fully insured and have the necessary qualifications and certifications.

Overall, getting your hedges trimmed during & outside of nesting season by an arborist like Teign Trees is a great way to ensure that your hedges look great while also protecting any nesting birds. So, why not give our Devon/Cornwall office a call on 01626 773499 or our Bristol/Wales/Somerset office on 01174 524400 and book a FREE No Obligation Quote today?

Your hedges (and the birds) will thank you!

Now for the Important bit - The Law

The RSPB recommend not cutting hedges and trees between March and August as this is the main breeding season for nesting birds, although some birds may nest outside this period. 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, or to intentionally kill, injure or take chicks or adults, or intentionally take or destroy any eggs. It is 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 or contents in the process. If someone is cutting a hedge during this period, speak to them and politely mention the risk to birds’ nests, and the laws protecting nests. If they proceed, and you know there is an active nest at risk, contact the police on 101, and ask for a reference number. If you are unsure what to do, contact RSPB Wildlife Enquiries on: 01767 693690 or if you are in the Devon/Cornwall area call our Head Office on 01626 773499 & for Bristol/Wales/Somerset areas call our Office on 01174 524400 for more advice from one of our Tree Team Managers.