Cutting Hedges in bird nesting season

  • This topic has 36 replies, 22 voices, and was last updated 4 months ago by  myti.
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  • Cutting Hedges in bird nesting season
  • Bunnyhop
    Member

    There have been loads of people around me with their power hedge cutters out and cutting down hedges and bushes.

    Please just lightly trim them by hand (if they are getting in the way) with some shears and only after checking for nesting birds. Or better still leave it and let it grow until end of August.

    If you aren’t sure, leave it.

    Our wildlife, insect, and birdlife rely heavily on trees, bushes and hedges.

    I thank you.

    Houns
    Member

    Yup. I’ve refused to cut a 75m x 3m hedge at work. It’ll cause some grumbles but wildlife more important

    Don’t thank me.

    I’ve just spent the last seven hours cutting down and shredding a ten foot high rhododendron.

    There were no birds nesting in it, and if there were,  the bloody magpies would have already got them.

    Premier Icon lesgrandepotato
    Subscriber

    I’ll put off dealing with our thicket for another 6-8 weeks then. Then i’ll Decimate it 🙂

    goldfish24
    Member

    Oh but perchy, thank you very much! The rhododendron is an introduced and increasingly invasive species. The local flora and fauna don’t know what to do with it, hence no nests.

    Shred away! Shred more!

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    Yes Rhododendrons are a nuisance. They are so dark and take over, thus nothing can grow underneath them. I doubt a bird could nest in one anyway. So chop away :o)

    Rhododendrons are just the start.

    I ‘ve declared open warfare against all shrubbery.

    Canaries and ducks be damned!

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    We cut our rhododendron right back when we moved in. It’s bushing out a bit now, flowers are pretty and the 5′ stump is in a good spot for one end of a hammock, so it’s got a stay of execution for now.

    The laurel is a thug, that’s on the list for when what’s behind it has grown up, but the bees seem to like it. :-/

    Premier Icon woody2000
    Subscriber

    Rhodies, bane of my life! I’ve got this lot to tackle at some point – we do get birds in it so it can wait for now, but it does need “thinning” out 🙂

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Well said Bunnyhop, some more info here……
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countryside-hedgerows-regulation-and-management

    None of this appears to apply to private hedgerows in gardens though…

    trail_rat
    Member

    None of this appears to apply to private hedgerows in gardens though…

    Especially ones where if you use your eyes you can look and see that they don’t have any nests in…… The **** magpies are in my chimney not the hedge.

    RAGGATIP
    Member

    Well said Bunnyhop, some more info here……
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countryside-hedgerows-regulation-and-management

    None of this appears to apply to private hedgerows in gardens though…

    None of the hedgerow protection applies to domestic hedges, but with regards to nesting birds it states…

    Check if you can work on a hedgerow

    Find out what restrictions there may be to trimming, cutting, coppicing or laying a hedgerow before you start work.

    Nesting birds

    You must not do any work which might harm nesting birds or destroy their nests. You’ll usually find nesting birds during the main nesting and breeding season from 1 March to 31 August.

    and then…

    Report a suspected hedgerow offence

    Nesting birds

    Report a suspected offence against nesting wild birds or their eggs to your local police force. Ask for a wildlife crime officer to investigate for illegal activity.

    Pretty clear really.

    I do a lot of gardening work and advised one customer that I wouldn’t cut their hedge as there was a nest in it. It’s likely (hopefully) they’ll be asking me back in September to continue the work. I lost quite a lot of money over that too. But I do know there’s lots of maintenance guys out there who, even though they’re aware, have the attitude of, “If I don’t do it, somebody else will.” They’ll argue that they still have to pay the bills.

    The customer’s just as much to blame. That is why both the person who’s carrying out the work and the person who’s paying for the work to be carried out are both subject to fines. Damn right too.

    Haze
    Member

    Cut ours a while back, had a little system going with the Robins in there where I’d down tools for a few minutes each time he/she turned up with food for the little ones.

    Didn’t seem to spook them, they were around for a couple more weeks before I noticed a Magpie sniffing around, haven’t seen them since 🙁

    RAGGATIP
    Member

    Had some wagtails nesting in the back garden for the first time up until a week ago. Fantastic little birds. The way they hover in the air is incredible.

    There’s a group of cackling magpies here too. I was watching them irritate the local feline bird hunter this morning as she relaxed on top of the shed roof soaking up the sun.

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Subscriber

    Good psa.

    Cut down a mates conifer hedge years back and a pigeon nest with eggs fell out. Honestly broke my heart to see the pigeon then walking round inspecting the damage.

    timbur
    Member

    RAGGATIP – some sense being talked there! As a gardener I’d agree 100% with you. Check before you cut. It really is that simple on private hedges.
    The rules apply to farmers and landowners. Apparently councils aren’t included.

    stevextc
    Member

    Oh but perchy, thank you very much! The rhododendron is an introduced and increasingly invasive species. The local flora and fauna don’t know what to do with it, hence no nests.

    Should be perfect for the invasive parakeet species from the Himalayas to nest in then?

    johndoh
    Member

    pigeon nest

    Bloody rats with wings that carry disease. We cut down a tree in our garden as we couldn’t stop the bloody things roosting in it and shitting everywhere (we tried various things like decoy birds, dangling/jangling things, taking the hosepipe / Nerf water pistol to them etc).

    timbur
    Member

    Pigeons/Squirels/sea gulls/cats are all on my list.
    When I’m PM this country will be a better place.
    Actually, now isn’t such a bad idea to put “Plan Timbur for PM” into action. It’s raining and I’ve got an afternoon free to join the party and put a policy statement together………………..

    johndoh
    Member

    Can I be your Deputy Timbur?

    stevextc
    Member

    Pigeons/Squirels/sea gulls/cats are all on my list.
    When I’m PM this country will be a better place.
    Actually, now isn’t such a bad idea to put “Plan Timbur for PM” into action. It’s raining and I’ve got an afternoon free to join the party and put a policy statement together………………..

    Start with grey squirrels then rhododendrons and parakeets … call em all migrants and simple policy of chucking em all out. Should be inline with your rivals at least

    timbur
    Member

    It just goes to show that anyone can generate a following :0)

    Premier Icon welshfarmer91
    Subscriber

    The problem isn’t so much cutting hedges during nesting season as that some people just don’t cut their hedges in the winter when they should as they can’t envisage what next years growth will be like, anyone who drives anything bigger than a van will tell you the whole country is becoming a jungle. When I were a kid I used to go round the farm counting the bird nests and there were always a lot more song bird nests in the well trimmed tight hedges than there were in the overgrown big bushy ones which seem to favour the magpies pigeons and squirrels.

    Houns
    Member
    Mounty_73
    Member

    One of our neighbours had a large hedge over hanging on one of the paths, he has put up a nice polite notice informing (the hedge police) that there are birds nesting, hence the uncut hedge, brilliant!

    Like most years watching Spring Watch, they are always reporting declines in numbers of pretty much every bird, sad really.

    CountZero
    Member

    There’s a group of cackling magpies here too. I was watching them irritate the local feline bird hunter this morning as she relaxed on top of the shed roof soaking up the sun.

    We have a pair of magpies who hang around locally and are occasional visitors to my garden, they particularly like the suet logs I hang in my Acer. The local feline vermin also like to hang around in my garden as well, and several times I’ve watched one of the cats get up onto the end fence and then up into my silver birch after the magpies. What’s funny is the magpies deliberately taunt the cats by edging further out on really thin branches, and the cats try to follow them.
    Sadly, I’ve yet to see a cat fall out of the tree. I just wish I could find a way to stop the furry vermin from invading my garden, shitting all over the place, stealing the food I put down for the hedgehogs and trying to kill the birds I’m feeding and encouraging; we’re getting a lot of young sparrows and starlings, as well as the blackbirds which ground feed a lot. 😖

    brakes
    Member

    I just wish I could find a way to stop the furry vermin from invading my garden

    Get some foxes. My cat won’t go in our garden at the moment as there is a fox den down at the bottom. I’m quite glad as it’s nesting season and he was stalking the birds before the foxes turned up.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    We’ve got a pair of Blackbirds nesting in ours.
    They’ve pretty much got used to us now, no fear at all.
    Really enjoyed having them around this year.

    glasgowdan
    Member

    I cut hedges Jan-Dec, though if I saw a nest I’d not disturb it. Spend any time on the gardeners world facebook group and you’d think it was illegal to touch a hedge in spring. That and use weedkiller!

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    Welshfarmer91 – very good advice thanks.

    Don’t get me started on weedkiller either. Our garden path has cracks full of weeds, herbs and flowers that encourage the bees.

    It’s so important we look after our hedges. This year Butterfly, insect and moth numbers are down for this time of the year. Although the weather isn’t helping, we need to do what we can to help out nature.

    glasgowdan
    Member

    Less than 2% of the UK land area is private garden. If 30% of those use weedkillers, on 20% of the area of their garden, what impact is this having on insect numbers?

    Houns
    Member

    Every bit helps. I’d happily see a total ban on domestic weed and insect killers

    glasgowdan
    Member

    I’d make sure you don’t drive, don’t use fossil fuels and don’t eat any food grown non-organically or transported by pollutive means before worrying about a bit of weedkiller!

    Houns
    Member

    No, as I said we all need to do a bit

    myti
    Member

    I am cutting (trimming) lots of hedges at the mo and even had the council (Brighton) demanding a reduction of a slightly overhanging hedge of a property i look after. I was going to keep it trimmed rather than expose the side of it just now. Common sense is required not an outright ban on any hedge work. It’s a city and spaces can be tight so hedge work will be done throughout summer especially on evergreen hedges that shouldn’t be cut in winter. Yes check for nests and yes avoid reductions of very overgrown hedges until as late as possible. I also use battery hedge cutters so trimming the outside of well maintained hedge has less impact than the any of the frequent summer storms we get on the coast and is quieter than the road noise in many areas i work in.

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