Protecting the environment and habitats of animals and wildlife is of vital importance to us here at Urban Tree Care.
tree work during bird nesting seasons
The ‘Bird Nesting Season’ is officially from February until August (Natural England) and it is recommended that tree or hedge cutting work or site clearance should be done outside of the nesting season. However, in reality the nesting period may start before this and extend beyond it, in some cases. The busiest time for nesting birds is from 1st March until 31st July and of course varies according to species, etc.
As contractors we aim to avoid impact to nesting birds and infringement of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and breaching the European Habitats Directive 1992/Nesting Birds Directive.
When tree or vegetation clearance work has to be undertaken during the nesting season, we will carry out a works survey,. As a general rule, it should be assumed that birds will be nesting in trees, and as contactors it is down to us to assess, record and confirm that any works carried out in the management of trees and other vegetation has not disturbed actively nesting birds.
Ground vegetation, and therefore ground nesting birds, can often be overlooked by tree workers so additional care and controls should be taken when access to the work site may also cause disturbance or damage to a nesting site. This is also true for retained trees on site as the removal of adjacent trees or remedial works on a tree may lead to the established nest being abandoned, exposed to the elements or predation. This action is also a breach of the act and therefore could lead to prosecution.
In our experience most clients are sympathetic and if works need to be put on hold until nesting is over then this is usually accepted.
On larger scale developments we ensure the main client is well aware of the requirements of the legislation and therefore should be more than sympathetic and support us as a contractor not to breach the legislation.
All British Bats species are protected by law and many bats roost in trees although some bat species have adapted to living in buildings, trees still remain important throughout the year for most of the UK’s 16 species. Suitable trees are becoming fewer and further between as older and hollow trees, which provide holes to roost in and a feast of insect life (and even younger trees with suitable cavities) are removed.
At Urban Tree Care we will check the tree for bats or roosts before work commences. If bats (or roosts) are thought to be present before, or during the work then work will be stopped and advice sought from Natural England or a competent ecologist to ensure we will be working within the law.
The presence of bats does not necessarily mean that tree work cannot proceed, but it does mean that the above procedures must be followed in order to ensure we working within the law and minimise the risk of bats being killed or injured.