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The 'Bird Nesting Season' is officially from 1st March until 31st July (England) and it is recommended that vegetation works, such as tree or hedge cutting, should not be done during this period. 
 
When is the official Bird Nesting Season?  
 
Although the official period is from 1st March through to 31st July, it is not guaranteed, the nesting period may well start before this and/or finish later in the year. The weather can play a big part in when birds nest, we have noticed that if there is a milder winter the birds tend to nest earlier. 
 
When should vegetation works be carried out? 
 
The best time to carry out any hedge or tree works is during dormancy which is typically during later winter when it is colder or possibly early spring depending on the weather. You can carry out works at other times of the year but nesting season is March through to July and it is an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to cut down a hedge/tree intentionally when birds are nesting within it. So, avoiding this time of year is recommended.  
 
What would happen if I did cut down a tree/hedge with nests inside? 
 
If you were to cut down a tree or hedge and there were nests inside, you are liable to receive a fine or even be imprisoned! It is an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 if you intentioanlly cut down a tree or hedge when birds are nesting inside. If there are multiple nests inside the vegetation then you may be subject to receive a fine per nest/bird found inside the vegetation that was disturbed. 
 
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