The Law is very clear about what you can and cannot do when planning and undertaking tree works where nesting birds are present. All wild birds, their nests and eggs are protected by Law, but many people do not know how to adhere to this and successfully carry out works to their trees at the same time.
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Here are a few tips to help based upon questions I have received:
‘When is the nesting bird season?’
In the main, the nesting bird season is recognised as being from February until August, although it must be acknowledged that if the weather conditions are good, birds will nest regardless of the calendar month.
Blackbirds frequently nest as early as January, and if the summer is favourable other species will have a second or third brood, and still be nesting into September.
‘So, does mean I can only carry out works to my trees in the Winter?’
If you carefully interpret the legislation, you will see that if nesting sites are not present then you can carry out the works. It is highly recommended that you inspect the tree up to a week prior to the start date of the planned tree work. Also inspect the tree the day before the work commences and on that morning. If your tree surgeon is law abiding, they will re-schedule to return in around 3 weeks once the nestlings have fledged.
Prosecution can carry heavy fines, and both the tree owner and tree surgeon would be jointly liable.
Please note that other species such as Owls and Birds of Prey have a higher level of protection, and I will write an article about this very soon.
Follow this link to view the relevant pages of the Government website.
I hope you find this informative.