Bird Nesting Season
One of the recommendations that crops up in many Phase 1 reports is the timing of works to avoid the nesting bird season. Birds can nest in all kinds of habitat including grassland, cereal crops, hedgerows and buildings, and the ‘Bird Nesting Season’ is officially from 1st March until 31st August so it is fast approaching.
All nesting wild birds (and this really means all, even feral pigeons) are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), which makes it an offence to: intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird or their eggs; or damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird whilst it is in use or being built.
Of course, in many cases it is not possible or practical to remove vegetation outside of this period and clearance has to take place during the nesting season. One of the ways to stay legally compliant is to have the vegetation thoroughly inspected by a suitably experienced ecologist for nests immediately prior to removal (often at dawn on the proposed day of clearance).
If the vegetation is surveyed and no nests are found then clearance can continue as planned. If active bird’s nests are discovered, an exclusion zone around the nest location should be established and works within it suspended until the young have fledged and left the nest. The size of the exclusion zone will depend on the species and type of habitat affected and will not necessarily prevent clearance in other areas from going ahead.
If you are concerned about the need to survey vegetation prior to its removal in order to keep your development on schedule, get in touch for some advice on how best to take this into account.
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