As a variety of birds and other animals gather to raise their young, the nesting season in the UK is an exciting time for wildlife enthusiasts. But like with any stage of life, it's crucial that we respect and safeguard these animals, particularly when they're constructing their nests in trees. Make sure to check before conducting any tree maintenance because, in the UK, it's unlawful to cut down or otherwise disturb trees if there is a nest inside of them. You'll not only abstain from violating wildlife laws, but you'll also be doing your part to preserve nesting season's splendour for future generations.
Although there isn't a designated "nesting season," it often lasts from March to August, giving birds plenty of time to choose the ideal location to construct their nests and lay their eggs. This can include gardens and parks as well as historic houses and hollow trees.
It's critical to be alert to any indications that a bird's nest may be active when cutting trees. Disturbing or removing a nesting bird without first obtaining written consent from your local authorities is not only prohibited by law, but it also causes the bird severe suffering and harm.
How to spot an active nest
Before pruning any tree, it's advisable to look for indications of an active bird's nest. During the course of your project, if you discover signs of a nesting bird, you must immediately cease all activity.
When studying a tree, look out for a few tell-tale indicators that can point to the presence of a live nest. These consist of:
Wildlife coming and departing from the same place, such as birds.
A particular branch surrounded by twigs and leaves.
Holes in the tree's trunk that might have been used by birds to enter and exit.
Feathers on the ground or close to it under the tree.
Be mindful of your surroundings while you search for nests in trees. Be careful not to disturb any wildlife that may be around because doing so can affect their habitat, try providing them with food, water, and shelter. If feasible, document any prospective nests using images taken from a distance rather than entering them. Remember to show respect if you should happen to stumble upon a living nest in a tree.
Various species, such as woodpeckers, blackbirds, robins, and pigeons, will be searching for a secure location to rest and rear their young throughout this season. And if you're fortunate, you might even see more uncommon birds, such hawks or kestrels.
Pruning procedures (after confirming there are no active nests in the hedge or tree)
Before you start cutting, have a strategy; take some time to consider the shape you want your bush to take. You can avoid accidentally destroying any possible branches during nesting season or removing an excessive amount of leaves by doing this.
Ascertain that you have the necessary tools available. Use sharp shears, pruners, and loppers to do the job fast and avoid any unexpected injuries that could happen if you use dull tools.
Remove any dead, sickly, or broken branches from your tree. Doing so can help to maintain it healthy and stop the spread of any potential infections.
Finally, it should be noted that cutting trees during the UK nesting season can be challenging. Pruning your trees securely without harming the birds that may be utilising them as nesting sites is achievable with the appropriate information and prudence. Before you begin pruning, it's critical to be knowledgeable about the rules governing bird protection and to take action to safeguard any bird nests that may be present. By making sure you complete this task responsibly, you can use your garden all year long without causing any damage.