RSPB Hedge cutting advice

Published: 17 March 2020

Please find advice from the RSPB below regarding the cutting of hedges and nesting birds;

 

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.