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What is the best time to trim and cut hedges?

It is generally recommended that cutting hedges and trees is avoided between March and August as this is the main breeding season for nesting birds. Hedge trimming is best left until the end of winter to leave the larder of fruits and nuts for wildlife. Best practice guidelines for hedge trimming are agreed by conservation groups and agriculture departments (Codes of Good Farming Practice). Under new EU guidelines, hedgerow trimming and cutting is not permitted between 1st March and 31st August, unless written permission has been granted for certain exceptional reasons. It is also an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built. It will be an intentional act, for example, if you or your neighbour know that there is an active nest in the hedge and still cut the hedge, damaging or destroying the nest in the process.