When to Cut a Hedge to Avoid Nesting Birds

Birds usually nest between March and August, often in hedges because of the safety it affords their eggs and chicks from predators. Before you start cutting or pruning your hedge, check it thoroughly to see if there is any sign of nesting activity. 

There is a surprising amount of legislation surrounding a hedge. The height of a hedge, for example, is restricted to two metres tall if it causes loss of light to a neighbouring property.

Nesting birds in hedges are also protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. Whilst a wild bird is building or using its nest, any damage or destruction it might suffer is an offence under this act.

If there are nesting birds you will have to stop and postpone trimming until after August. This ensures you do not disturb the wildlife.

Yes, it might be frustrating to hold off on trimming your topiary but better that than disturbing the wildlife; your hedge will survive.

The fact you’re looking at this page suggests you’re someone who is interested in birds and wildlife. It might be worth considering our Bird Friendly Mixed Hedging if you want to take your interest up a notch or two. And it’s meant to be trimmed after August so there’s definitely no chance of disturbing any nesting birds.