They are calling on gardeners at this time of year to leave hedge cutters and shears in the garden shed until September to give the birds some help during the bird breeding season.
Land Advice Service Manager Julie Stubbs said: ‘It is very important to be extra careful when tending your garden from March until September to avoid injuring nesting birds, damaging nests or scaring the parents away from the young birds.
‘Pruning hedges and shrubs and generally tidying up in the garden can have an effect on breeding success of birds – you can easily dislodge or damage nests.
‘Some birds have two broods so that is why the RSPB and Natural England say that best practice is to leave hedge cutting until September. By leaving things to grow a little and not being so tidy you can increase the likelihood of garden birds building nests in your garden and successfully rearing and fledging their chicks.’
In fact, all birds, their nests and eggs are protected by law - the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981. Active nests in hedges are covered by this,
so any cutting that damages or destroys nests in the process needs to be avoided. However, if you have checked and are sure there are no nesting birds, it is fine to go ahead and trim hedges.
Julie said: ‘The good news is that most hedges fare better when cut in the dormant season, giving us two good reasons to wait until the autumn.’
For more information about the Land Advice Service, Julie on 01590 646696 or email Julie.stubbs@
Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646600
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The New Forest National Park lies mainly in south-west Hampshire; it is famous for its stunning landscapes,wildlife,coastline & picturesque villages. It is the eighth national park in England and the first in the south-east to be created for nearly 50yrs.