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Hedgecutting - When allowed?

According to this publication from Natural England,

hedges shouldn't be cut from 1st March - 31st July - the bird breeding season.

Apparently it is an offence to damage a nest while it is in use or under construction.

Does this mean that is irresponisble of us to, for example, lightly trim our box hedges during this time? Should all hedge cutting, however minor, be avoided during this time?

Many thanks to you all in advance.


  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    It depends if you have nests in it or not. If you do have a nest, then don't touch the hedge. If you don't, then trim away.

  • Pennine PetalPennine Petal Posts: 1,540
    I think I'll print that info and pass it to one of my neighbours who has just had his hedge cut, hope it didn't frighten the chirpy sparrows living there too much. They usually sounds as if they are having a party at 7am when I leave for work.
  • I like Alina W's practical advice.

    Presumably such action would count as one's "due diligence" and would provide legal protection if an unnoticed nest was damaged accidentally.

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Anyway, birds aside, and I am all for protecting them I assure you - if you cut it too soon you will only have to do it again later - especially with all this rain.  Leave it later on and maybe you will manage with only the one cut?  Depending of course what kind of hedge it is.

    Peninepeta (lovely name) l, if your sparrows are raising the sound level at 7 am be thankful, our pet blackbird starts outside the bedroom window, on a telephone wire, at 4 am!! I love him dearly, but there are times when he really challenges that ........ 

  • Pennine PetalPennine Petal Posts: 1,540
    Thanks Bookertoo, I think I'll start using it all the time. I wonder if your blackbird is phoning ours for a chat?
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    How big is this box hedge?  I would imagine the advice is aimed at natural rural hedges. Or large hedges which are likely to harbour nests.  Only two weeks to wait anyway.

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