Grounds Maintenance: Hedge Cutting and Nesting Birds

Hedge Cutting and Nesting Birds

As we enter into the spring season, we also see the beginning of bird nesting season.

Between March and September, birds will begin to make use of the trees, shrubs and hedges in our gardens to build their nests in. This vegetation is essential for the continuous survival of our birds, providing the foundations to build their nests, protecting their eggs and chicks from the wind, rain and sun, and hiding them from predators.

In the UK, nesting birds in hedges are protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. While a wild bird is building or using its nest, any damage or destruction it might suffer as a result of hedge cutting, for example, is an offence under this act.

Hedge Cutting and Nesting Birds
Hedge Cutting and Nesting Birds
Hedge Cutting and Nesting Birds

At 4th Corner, we only cut hedges between October and February in order to avoid any potential damage to birds and their nests. In practice, bird nesting season may start or finish before this period, particularly in years of milder weather.

Before picking up any machinery, our experienced team of grounds maintenance operative will look for nests, eggs, or any signs of bird activity within the hedge. If there is an active nest, we will postpone the work and advise you of the best course of action.

Before

Hedge Cutting and Nesting Birds

After

Hedge Cutting and Nesting Birds

How to Attract Birds in your Garden?

When planting a hedge to attract birds, you should choose native species that birds will be familiar with and know how to use. Plants that provide food, shelter and protection are always attractive for nesting birds.

Blackthorn: This native hedgerow plant creates dense thickets, perfect for nesting birds. In the spring, it produces beautiful white flowers which attract insect, and sloes in autumn.

Hawthorn: This native plant has dense foliage, providing valuable cover and protection for birds. The flowers attract insect, and berries in winter provide essential energy and a food source for birds.

Alder: The tiny codes produced by Alder trees are full of seeds that are high in energy and very popular with goldfinches and greenfinches. In addition, these small trees create an ideal structure for building nests.

Dog Rose: Dog rose rambles through the branches of trees and bushes, decorating them with large pink flowers that attract insects. The roses also produce rose hips that attract blackbirds and redwings.

Ivy: Ivy is attractive to the insects that some birds eat, and can provide extra cover for nesting birds in your hedge. It is also evergreen, making it an excellent choice for birds sheltering in the winter.

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