Pro Tree Surgeon Norwich

Do professional tree surgeons check for nests?

Photo of a bird nest in a tree which professional tree surgeons would have to check for at certain times of the year

Will you be able to trim trees and hedges if birds nests are present?

At Pro Tree Surgeon Norwich, we get asked all the time if bird nests interfere in the way of our work. People often wrongly assume that we cannot work on trees or hedges that contain a nest. The terms “active” and “nesting” are crucial when addressing bird nesting and tree or hedge maintenance. And we would not cut down a tree or trim a hedge if we saw a nest or heard chirping from within. Because it is our duty as a contractor to protect nesting birds from harm. Our professional tree surgeons always conduct a comprehensive inspection before beginning any forestry, landscaping, or gardening projects. This is to ensure that we won’t accidentally disrupt any nests.

Explanation of why it's best to stay away from nests when birds are currently laying eggs

Specifically, the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 protects all birds, their nests, and their eggs across the United Kingdom. So it’s illegal to: 


  • Knowingly kill, harm, capture, or take any wild bird.
  • Knowingly remove, damage, or destroy any wild bird’s nest while it is occupied or being constructed.
  • Knowingly remove, damage, or destroy any wild bird’s egg.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act prohibits, with some exceptions, the intentional destruction of an active nest, the removal of an active nest, or the removal of birds or eggs from an active nest.


We can safely do our contracted work if we discover a nest that is not actively being used or constructed by a bird. If we come upon an active nest, however, we will wait to perform any tree or hedge maintenance until the young birds have flown the coop.


When scheduling tree surgery services in Norwich, it is important to first inspect the site for active bird nests. As most landowners have a solid knowledge of where birds might be nesting on their land. If you know that a certain tree or hedge is a favourite nesting area of birds. You can move the job to a period when there is far less likelihood of finding an active bird’s nest.

When do birds nest?

In the UK, nesting birds can be spotted between early March and late August. Many bird species, however, nest outside of the traditional nesting season. And some, like the wood pigeon, can nest at any time of year. As springtime temperatures rise, many bird species have moved forward with their nesting schedules.

The best way to avoid any nesting birds


It’s a good idea to do a quick visual assessment of your trees and hedges before you do any maintenance on them. Have a look in the trees and bushes for nests if it is safe to do so. If that’s the case, keep an eye on it for a few days to make sure it isn’t occupied. Please don’t go near the nest or try to mess with it. It could be an abandoned nesting or roosting spot that will not affect construction if it remains unoccupied. Whether you want a tree surgeon to work on some trees or hedges, you should observe the area to determine if any birds are coming and going with sticks, feathers, or other nesting materials. The bird is showing promising signs of starting to construct a nest.

Not just the big trees

It’s also important to remember birds that nest in the ground, especially in areas with lots of grass and bushes. Nests discovered at lower levels may impede future tree, hedge, vegetation, or site removal work.


Conifers, for example, have a huge and compact branch structure that can make it difficult to see inside. So if you want to search for bird nests but can’t see into the tree, some lower branches could have some tree pruning to improve your line of sight. You can use this to see into the canopy above you in search of nesting.

Why you need to hire an expert

It is essential to have an expert have a look at your property. This is because they can give you advice on the best way to proceed if you are concerned about the effect tree surgery or remedial works may have on any prospective nesting locations. They know the big tree and hedge projects should ideally be scheduled when birds aren’t nesting. Simply this reduces the risk of disturbing their nests. Sometimes you need tree surgery or hedge maintenance immediately due to an emergency, such as a dangerous limb or tree that requires quick treatment. But you still need to follow the preceding advice. And work with your contractor towards any birds and nests in the vicinity.

Ring our professional tree surgeons!

Call our professional tree surgeons on 01603 361388 if you have any inquiries concerning tree surgery, hedge upkeep, vegetation clearance, or any of our other services related to bird welfare.

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