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Whens best to Cut Hedges?

Hi Everyone,

We have just bought our First house, and its all in need of a make over. The garden was obviously a once loved landscaped garden but now is overgrown and a complete mess. Its also stoney and I want to make it a lawn with a wild flower section, keeping some of the hedges. So my question is what time of the year is best to cut back hedges/remove hedges completely without disturbing the birds?


  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 4,046


    The RSPB recommend not cutting them between March and August: 

    I'll leave it to the more experienced to tel you when is good!

    Enjoy your new garden - what an adventure image.

    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,847

    I do all the necessary hacking of hedges and shrubs in the winter. Maybe not recommended by RHS, (and I'm sure someone will quote you RHS advice) but it works OK for me. Hard work goes well in the cold weather and the birds haven't started nesting. 

    We had a very tall thick hedge round 2 sides of our back garden. We reduced one side to a reasonable hedge last winter, left the rest for the wildlife. Will complete the job next winter, that way there's permanent shelter for the birds

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,096

    Hello JennieMarie image

    Guidance given to farmers has recently been updated so that hedges should not now be trimmed between the beginning of March and the end of August.  

    I prefer not to cut hedges back from mid February onwards, as in my experience  small birds may well be prospecting and starting on nest building by then. 

    Sounds as if you've got a lovely gardening project ahead of you.  Keep us up to date with your adventure image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 35,464

    I'm with nutcutlet. Hack mine in winter. After leaf fall its easier to see where to place the best cuts.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Oh brilliant! Thank you all so much! Can't wait to get started! We have so many birds visiting the garden, have got all my feeders ready and suet shells to keep them happy

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 35,464

    Enjoy your wildlife jennymarie image

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
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