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Hedge cutting and birds

Hi everyone


So I'm picking up some gardening work on the side of other work at the moment. I've done a lot of landscaping in the past and looking forward to getting stuck in. 


I have a question about trimming hedges and (potential) nesting birds. Around here (South Wales), the most common are types of conifer hedges. I know that farmers etc don't trim their hedges until the autumn because of nesting birds, and I've been reading a bit about that recently. However, most people want their garden hedges lightly trimmed and tidied during the summer months - especially conifers which as I understand it aren't best trimmed during the autumn (after the nesting season). This means that gardeners that do trim through the year are at risk of disrupting nesting birds, which is something that I want to avoid. How do other gardeners deal with this here? Is it a matter of just checking the hedge before doing any work (because the law is essentially about whether the nesting birds are present - though they do advise no trimming at all during this period).


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    You shouldn't be trimming hedges from March til August. if you have to you must check for nesting birds & can not touch a hedge or disturb any birds within it. This can be difficult, to find a nest right among the growth esp if a hedge is over 1M wide & high.

    It is illegal & hefty fines if it can be proved that you had not taken all precautions to avioid disturbing them. The only time I would trim is if I can see right through a hedge this time of year.

    I lost a contract last year because I refused to work on a 4M high conifer hedge in June. It was quite obvious there were nesting birds around. I found out that the previous contractor had started, then left the hedge. That's why they were looking for somebody else to take it on.

  • Agreed Neil, there is no need to be trimming hedges from March to late July August time unless it is a hedge you can see into and walk along to check for nests.  

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