With summer in full swing, now is the time many of us will be enjoying the perks of alfresco living. With this in mind, getting our gardens ship shape has been a top priority for most, especially as the warming weather and longer days let us spend more time outdoors.

If your garden is bordered with lots of beautiful hedges, which have also made the most of the summer sun and are now looking extremely overgrown, trimming them back may be a job on your to-do list. Unfortunately, sourcing a good quality hedge trimmer and a long set of ladders isn’t your only consideration.

As sanctuaries for wildlife, our gardens are also home to lots of birds, which can make timing hedge cutting pretty difficult. So, when is it safe to cut your hedges without disturbing those nesting birds?


Summer isn’t the time to do it

You may have to delay your hedge trim as the period between March and August every year is in fact the worst time to cut your hedges. These warmer months are the main breeding season of many birds, and trimming your hedges now could mean disturbing their nests and ultimately breaking the law.


What the law says about hedge trimming

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981, it’s an offence to intentionally take, damage or destroy any nest of a wild bird.

This legislation means if you intentionally cut your hedges and are aware of an active nest, and the nest or its contents are destroyed or damaged in the process, you will be liable for an unlimited fine, up to six months’ of jail time, or both.


Cutting your hedges outside nesting season

You must still take care when cutting or trimming your hedges, even outside of the nesting season. Remember birds are protected all year round, and some bird species nest outside of this season.

Letting an experienced gardener handle your hedge trimming for you and booking them long before the proposed nesting season is recommended. A professional will have the knowledge to identify nesting locations, and advise you on responsible tree and hedge trimming. No professional contractor will continue with the job until any nest found is proven to be empty.

To discuss your post-summer hedge trimming requirements, use our quick and easy service to search for a local gardener near you.


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