Due to the Coronavirus, many people are at home and looking for jobs to occupy their time. Hedge cutting will no doubt spring to mind, but it is important to be mindful of nesting birds. For clarity, below is the advice from the RSPB website.

We 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. Please note due to Coronavirus the Wildlife Enquiries team are currently unable to take calls but they are available on email – contact them on wildlife@rspb.org.uk

Please Note: The Police have the responsibility for enforcing this legislation not the RSPB. We can provide advice to the Police where appropriate.