I am worried when I see and hear hedges being cut and trimmed in Springtime. This is the peak time for birds to be nesting and hedges are often filled with nests, even if we cannot see them all. So why do some people cut hedges down in Spring when birds are nesting?
We have a mixed native hedge in our garden and frequently birds nest in it. Our neighbours have hedges too so its a good area for birds to travel along and is always busy in the Spring as they establish territory and build nests and rear their young.
It is a pleasure to see them singing their hearts out wooing a mate, defending territory and gathering nestbuilding materials. Then, if we are lucky to see the baby fledglings and parents feeding them in our garden.
We recorded blackbirds nesting in our garden one year as they nested very close to the house and we could take photos with out any disturbance. The photos of the birds here are from that page.
Growing up in the countryside I think I always knew not to cut hedges in the Spring and early summer. We always waited until the birds had stopped nesting and you could feel the quietness descent in late August or September as all the birds seemed to leave the garden.
So I am not understanding why I am am getting leaflets and knocks on the door from so called "tree surgeons" asking me if I want my hedge cut down! It is the worst time of year to do it! I understand asking for business but I tell them why we cannot do it now and say it is an Autumn/winter job.
However, it occured to me do all people know this not to cut hedges now? It is an offence in UK to cut hedges with nesting birds in them
I know there is a sudden desire to get out ionto the garden and tidy up and get things sorted for summer. I feel it too. However, hedge cutting is an autumn/winter job - not for now. If I forgot to do it in winter, well I have to life with a messier hedge for now.
If we cut hedges now we disturb birds, we lose nests and baby birds will die needlessly. With some species we cannot afford for this to happen and it is in my opinion cruel. I like to think if people do it, it is out of not knowing rather than deliberate.
We have precious few hedgerows left these days so need to preserve the ones we have for our birds and hedgehogs and other creatures.
Please if you care about birds, spread the word, however you can, to only cut hedges in Autumn and Winter time.
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