February 17, 2013 by combehavendefenders
It’s believed contractors will be trying to cut hedgerows from Monday 18th Feb and that they have only a 2 week window given the nesting season deadline of 1st March. This gives protestors a further chance to delay work and keep the issue in the public eye. It’s not clear where contractors will be working, so it would be good to link up with other protestors, be mobile, and stay in touch (to share info, and to sign up for “in-the-field” text updates, text CHD on 07926 423033).
Many of the hedgerows in the valley date back to medieval times and are incredibly rich islands of biodiversity, of which the abundant birdlife is but one manifestation.
According to Natural England “All wild birds are protected. This includes their nests (whilst in use or being built) as well as any eggs the nest may contain. Under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), it is an offence to:
1. intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird;
2. intentionally damage, destroy or take the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built [….];
3. intentionally destroy an egg of any wild bird;
4. intentionally or recklessly disturb certain wild birds or their dependent young while they are nesting (including disturbance of nesting young);…”
Furthermore, Natural England state that “If you suspect an offence is/has been committed in relation to wild birds then contact your local Police Force and report the incident to them. Ask for the case to be investigated by a Wildlife Crime Officer (WCO) if possible and ask for an incident number so you can go back to them if needed. If the offence is on-going report it to the Police on the 999 system”.
Also under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997 it is against the law to remove or destroy certain hedgerows without permission from the local planning authority. Local planning authority permission is normally required before removing hedges that are at least 20 metres (66 feet) in length, more than 30 years old and contain certain plant species. If you find contractors working on hedgerows, demand evidence that they have valid local planning permission for their work.