Trim your shrubs, hedges and trees in time for spring, but remember the early bird gets the nest! Nesting season is just starting, so grab the last chance to get trimming, but be mindful of disturbing active bird nests, Hertfordshire County Council advises.
The main breeding season for nesting birds is between February and the end of August, so you should think now about trimming any vegetation which may be blocking public footways and footpaths, in time for spring.
The council is reminding land and property owners / occupiers of their responsibility to prevent any obstruction to roads, pavements and public footpaths, but also highlighting the fact that it is an offence to disturb the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built.
Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment, said: ‘Many footways and footpaths are vital routes around villages and towns, and are used by many people in our community; parents with pushchairs, people with impaired vision and mobility aids, such as walking sticks and scooters, and the elderly. It is important to help people using pavements to get around safely.
‘We are calling on residents to take pride in their neighbourhood, and to please help us in keeping Hertfordshire’s highways clear for everyone to enjoy. We want to keep our people and our wildlife safe, so now is the perfect time to start cutting back vegetation, before nesting season gets in full swing.’
Hertfordshire County Council has a legal duty to protect the rights of the public to use the highway, and this includes requiring residents to remove obstructing vegetation (nests permitting), where safety is compromised. They may contact land owners where a problem has been identified, and give notice to remove the obstruction or risk, incurring a cost for its removal.