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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 13:24   #1
Peewit
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Post The Law - Nesting Birds, gardens, bushes, and Trees

Hi there

Three years ago we had a 'bad' experience dealing with our Blue Tit box. The box was attached onto the trunk of the tree which was growing in our neighbours garden.
The two adult birds had a nest of chicks, and they where doing very well indeed. I was really pleased with their progress day by day.

Our 'then' neighbour decided to get a Tree surgeon in to cut back the branches of the same large mature evergreen Conifer close to our fence. We where not told by our neighbour of the impending situation. It put us in a quandry of all sorts when we found out about the unknown situation coming our way.

Anyway the Tree Surgeon arrived (out of the blue) and started to chainsaw the Tree branches burying the Blue Tit box still attached onto the trunk of the same tree. The noise and the mess stopped the adult birds from feeding their young.
I knew I had to help the blue tits and their young. I was in a panic no knowing what to do so I went up to the Tree Surgeon that what he was doing was wrong as it was the height of the nesting season, and illegal and he could be in trouble for what he is doing.

He just laughed at me. I said he was breaking the law as it is disturbing nesting birds.

Our neighbour told us not to interfer with the removal of his tree. I said look, you are cutting down a mature evergreen tree which has nesting birds in and around it. He was adament he was in the right. This caused all matter of conflict between us.

Then the fence between our gardens collapsed under the weight of all the branches, and we had to report him to our landlord.

On top of that issue the Blue Tit box attached to the tree trunk was removed by myself and placed closeby. The Blue Tit parents where going frantic wondering where their babies had gone. The stress calls from the blue tits was so upsetting. I was really upset about the way this whole situation was handled in this order

1. By our direct neighbour who refused to listen to us.
2. By the Tree surgeon (the time of year for cutting Trees was wrong)
3. The stress it caused the Blue tits and their youngsters.
4. The damage it caused to the mutual fence and we got billed for it.

I was fuming, and the Tree surgeon peristed that we where partly reponsible for the damage to the dividing fence. I said we are not, and you are going to bill our neighbour etc...

What a nightmare. Neighbours sometimes they are just the most subborn thoughtless people on earth!
Our neighbour had no concept of birds at all, and it shows how worlds apart some people can be towards their natural surroundings.

Thankfully this happened a few years back now. Funny how we remember these incidents!

Anyone had a similar experience of sorts they want to share here
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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 14:04   #2
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A sad story Kathy but you do seem to be mixing emotion with the law. Bar the damage to the fence I don't think your neighbours or the tee surgeon did anything illegal or even wrong. Not ideal I agree.
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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 14:23   #3
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Nothing has happened yet, but my neighbours on one side can be extremely irritating.

Their young children appear to be encouraged to frighten any bird that comes within 20 feet of them. If a bird (Collard Dove, Pigeon, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Jay, Crow, and on one occasion a Sparrowhawk) lands on my fence, or the fence at the back of their garden, the brats make a loud noise. Sometimes they scream, sometimes they clap; whatever they do their parents do nothing to discourage them.

Now making a noise, in itself, doesn't harm the birds. The birds just fly onto my roof or elsewhere, and they return a few minutes later. Many will say that children do things like scare birds; some will say it's nothing to be concerned about. But my children never scared any animal or bird, my grandchildren haven't either. They were never told not to scare birds or animals, they just witnessed how I behaved towards wildlife, and copied me. Which is basically what all children do, learn from their parents.

My neighbours' children, and in time, their grandchildren, will learn from their parents. So there will be more children seeing birds as pests, or as things to frighten. And that is what really irritates me; in fact it really angers me. However there is absolutely nothing I can do about it; there is also nothing I can do about animal cruelty.

Actually that's not quite true, I have done something about it. I have passed on my love of Nature to my children, and they have to their children.

We just have to accept that some people (like your neighbours) will never care if their actions harm another living thing, but that's their loss. They don't see beauty in Nature, they are never fascinated by watching Nature. I watch my garden for at least 6 hours every day; there has never been a day when what I've seen hasn't made me smile.

I think I've wandered slightly off course, sorry about that.
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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 14:32   #4
Peewit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybike View Post
A sad story Kathy but you do seem to be mixing emotion with the law. Bar the damage to the fence I don't think your neighbours or the tee surgeon did anything illegal or even wrong. Not ideal I agree.
Hi John

Interesting what you have said in your post. I would not say emotions come in to it. Just the law for being what it is with nesting birds.

http://www.treecraft.co.uk/resources...lient_info.pdf

This is an interesting link on some of the laws the farmers have to abide by.
Why not in the garden areas? Love to understand more what is going on with protection of our nesting birds.

Nesting birds V's wood cutting machines. (whatever wood cutting machines are?)
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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 14:36   #5
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Sorry ChrisKten

Crossed posts here
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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 14:55   #6
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Yeah, I went off on a bit of a tangent with my last post. In my defence, the kids next door were noisy while I was typing.

All I really wanted to say was the law makes little difference. Many are blissfully ignorant of the law, and many others just don't care about it. If people care about wildlife, laws are mostly unnecessary.

Do you need to know if it's illegal to disturb nesting birds, or does caring about wildlife tell you it's wrong to disturb them?

So I guess we can pretend my first post doesn't exist.
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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 16:05   #7
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From what I can tell (not being a legal type), they've committed an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981:

Quote:
1.-(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part, if any person intentionally-
(a) kills, injures or takes any wild bird;
(b) takes, damages or destroys the nest of any wild bird while the nest is in use or being built ; or
(c) takes or destroys an egg of any wild bird,
he shall be guilty of an offence.
http://www.jncc.gov.uk/PDF/waca1981_part1.pdf

Option (b), there then. If you feel strongly enough, have a word with the local plod, which will usually have a wildlife protection officer to hand. They're lucky it's not a Schedule 1 bird as there's special penalties for that, including a large fine and a spell at HM's pleasure for six months.
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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 18:41   #8
Peewit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colonelboris View Post
From what I can tell (not being a legal type), they've committed an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981:
http://www.jncc.gov.uk/PDF/waca1981_part1.pdf

Option (b), there then. If you feel strongly enough, have a word with the local plod, which will usually have a wildlife protection officer to hand. They're lucky it's not a Schedule 1 bird as there's special penalties for that, including a large fine and a spell at HM's pleasure for six months.
Hi ColonelBoris

Thank you for your interesting reply. I wondered how serious it ccould get, and your answer has showed us what can happen.

We never thought of getting the Police involved at the time. It was not in our minds. We thought that it would have caused more aggrevation.

It does show it is relevent that disturbance affects all nesting birds. I hope that that any Tree surgeons are now tuned in to what they should be doing dealing with the law.

Now we all know!
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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 20:25   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peewit
Our neighbour told us not to interfer with the removal of his tree. I said look, you are cutting down a mature evergreen tree which has nesting birds in and around it. He was adament he was in the right. This caused all matter of conflict between us.
Cor blimey Peewit your neighbour sounds a bit of a d*******! If I was in that situation I would have calmly warned him that he was about to commit an offence and I had the local police on speed-dial!
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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 21:13   #10
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our local group recently had a talk given by the local wildlife crimes officer and we asked him at what stage is a nest, legally a nest. In the case of say, House Martins, Swallows etc, they are legally protected as soon as they place the first piece of mud. Some one in our area was fined £5000 last year for hosing down nests during nesting season.
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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 21:33   #11
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Cor blimey Peewit your neighbour sounds a bit of a d*******! If I was in that situation I would have calmly warned him that he was about to commit an offence and I had the local police on speed-dial!
Hi CB

It was getting close to reporting the whole issue to the Police, as he was not taking me seriously at all. Talk about taking the mickey out of people.

As he was a lot older the subborn streak became more apparant. We where just glad to move away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinnordyvolunteer View Post
our local group recently had a talk given by the local wildlife crimes officer and we asked him at what stage is a nest, legally a nest. In the case of say, House Martins, Swallows etc, they are legally protected as soon as they place the first piece of mud. Some one in our area was fined £5000 last year for hosing down nests during nesting season.
hi Kinnordyvolunteer

That is interesting what you have said about nests. It just shows the severity of the whole issue

£5,000 would be a wake up call to some people, and the way they treat birds.

Ask a daft question here, but is the law different between Scotland and England?
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Old Saturday 25th April 2009, 22:04   #12
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There will be differences in the law between England and Scotland...but I am almost sure that it is still illegal in England to disturb the nest of a wild bird.
Neighbours are like family....you can't chose them so have to endure them...lol
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Old Sunday 26th April 2009, 01:46   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisKten View Post
Nothing has happened yet, but my neighbours on one side can be extremely irritating.

Their young children appear to be encouraged to frighten any bird that comes within 20 feet of them. If a bird (Collard Dove, Pigeon, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Jay, Crow, and on one occasion a Sparrowhawk) lands on my fence, or the fence at the back of their garden, the brats make a loud noise. Sometimes they scream, sometimes they clap; whatever they do their parents do nothing to discourage them.

Now making a noise, in itself, doesn't harm the birds. The birds just fly onto my roof or elsewhere, and they return a few minutes later. Many will say that children do things like scare birds; some will say it's nothing to be concerned about. But my children never scared any animal or bird, my grandchildren haven't either. They were never told not to scare birds or animals, they just witnessed how I behaved towards wildlife, and copied me. Which is basically what all children do, learn from their parents.

My neighbours' children, and in time, their grandchildren, will learn from their parents. So there will be more children seeing birds as pests, or as things to frighten. And that is what really irritates me; in fact it really angers me. However there is absolutely nothing I can do about it; there is also nothing I can do about animal cruelty.

Actually that's not quite true, I have done something about it. I have passed on my love of Nature to my children, and they have to their children.

We just have to accept that some people (like your neighbours) will never care if their actions harm another living thing, but that's their loss. They don't see beauty in Nature, they are never fascinated by watching Nature. I watch my garden for at least 6 hours every day; there has never been a day when what I've seen hasn't made me smile.

I think I've wandered slightly off course, sorry about that.

Perhaps there's still time for a kindly grandpa figure to teach the children a fresh approach to living creatures -- could you perhaps arrange to be in your garden when you see them in theirs, suggest they not frighten the birds with loud noises, and maybe teach them some interesting things about the birds they see (some of those things that make you smile )and encourage them to watch them quietly, etc., etc.,..... Maybe make them a present on an appropriate occasion of a child's book about birds, or..... Do you have some old bins you could let them look through?....
Just a few thoughts.....

Marie
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Old Sunday 26th April 2009, 08:19   #14
ChrisKten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marie b View Post
Perhaps there's still time for a kindly grandpa figure to teach the children a fresh approach to living creatures -- could you perhaps arrange to be in your garden when you see them in theirs, suggest they not frighten the birds with loud noises, and maybe teach them some interesting things about the birds they see (some of those things that make you smile )and encourage them to watch them quietly, etc., etc.,..... Maybe make them a present on an appropriate occasion of a child's book about birds, or..... Do you have some old bins you could let them look through?....
Just a few thoughts.....

Marie
Well, you would think that would make sense, but there are a few problems with it:

I don't talk even talk to their parents, as they appear blissfully unaware that there are other people in the world. I won't go into details, but they are inconsiderate, noisy, and ignorant.

In the UK (and I would imagine, elsewhere), giving presents to, or even talking to, young children that you are not related to, can be misinterpreted and result in a visit from the Authorities (a sign of the times I'm afraid).

Attempting to educate teenagers that you are not related to can result in you being arrested or sent to Hospital (it depends on how willing and able you are to defend yourself). I know that must sound like nonsense to some, but it's how things are in London. I'm not suggesting this applies to all children, it does however apply to many. Many children have no respect for Adults, Teachers, or even the Police. If they have no respect for others, respecting wildlife is even less likely. This can only be changed by parents, well intentioned neighbours can do little, if anything, to change the situation.

Sorry for dragging your thread off topic Kathy, I won't post in this thread again.
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Old Sunday 26th April 2009, 08:25   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peewit
As he was a lot older the subborn streak became more apparant. We where just glad to move away
I would have also have been tempted to put a brick through his window, signed "a blue tit", but that's my unique approach I suppose!!!
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Old Sunday 26th April 2009, 12:15   #16
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I would have also have been tempted to put a brick through his window, signed "a blue tit", but that's my unique approach I suppose!!!
Hi CB

No worries ChrisKten. I understand what you are saying about some bostorious children too.

CB: I would not go that far. I think walking away is the only way forward for us at that pont in time. I think what we have learned from it is just to be sure we know all the written facts about the law is word for word. That is the only way for people to understand the law about birds and their nests, and what it entails. Then no one can argue with you.
We on the other hand where not prepared so it was harder to debate anything eith our 'then' neightbour.

One day all is fine and calm in your garden, the birds using the box are fine. Then the chain saw massacre arrives and then all the confusion begins.

The bottom line is our neighbour could have simply mentioned that he was going to remove the tree, and I would have removed the bird box to a safe place nearby. Oh if only things where that simple.
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Old Sunday 26th April 2009, 12:27   #17
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Found this bit .. interesting part about tree surgeons being told by nighbours about nesting birds. Sounds like their Tree Surgeon was not a proper one or he would be fully aware of his responsibilities.

"If you are a neighbour to some tree works being carried out where you know there nesting wild birds then make this known to the house owner or tree surgeons. Their actions then become intentional if they proceed. You can contact the RSPB on 01767 680 551 or visit their website form for reporting 'wildlife crime' "

Here is the site from where it was taken
http://www.ecotreecare.co.uk/wildlife-conservation.htm
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Old Sunday 26th April 2009, 12:41   #18
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Quote:
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Found this bit .. interesting part about tree surgeons being told by nighbours about nesting birds. Sounds like their Tree Surgeon was not a proper one or he would be fully aware of his responsibilities.

"If you are a neighbour to some tree works being carried out where you know there nesting wild birds then make this known to the house owner or tree surgeons. Their actions then become intentional if they proceed. You can contact the RSPB on 01767 680 551 or visit their website form for reporting 'wildlife crime' "

Here is the site from where it was taken
http://www.ecotreecare.co.uk/wildlife-conservation.htm
hi Marmot

Yes, I think sometimes that there will be bogus people ie Tree surgeons who do not know their responsibilities at all. They can land you in a heap of trouble.

Thank for the information. It is interesting to know that you can do something in the birds defence. I know if anything was to happen to us like that again I will be in touch with the RSPB prompto via the RSPB form noted straight away.
I think this form wil be useful for anyone who comes across a similar event.

Sometimes it is better not to talk to neighbours as they do not always respond the way you expect them to. My OH just said to me just now that our x-neighbour was very arrogant, so therefore communication was not going to happen in any way between us.

We live and learn
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Old Monday 27th April 2009, 14:58   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peewit View Post

Three years ago we had a 'bad' experience dealing with our Blue Tit box. The box was attached onto the trunk of the tree which was growing in our neighbours garden.
The two adult birds had a nest of chicks, and they where doing very well indeed. I was really pleased with their progress day by day.
Quote:
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The bottom line is our neighbour could have simply mentioned that he was going to remove the tree, and I would have removed the bird box to a safe place nearby. Oh if only things where that simple.
Trouble is, had you then moved the box, you would have been interfering with a nest ...

I would suspect that the tree surgeons were not proper ones at all. The tree surgeons we use on a regular basis, always check for nests before starting work, and actually told me how they had upset one of the people for whom they used to do work, as they refused to do work on a large tree and a hedge in the garden because they contained nests.
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Old Monday 27th April 2009, 16:53   #20
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I live in a flat with a communal garden. Two years ago, the chair of the residents assoc. had tree surgeons to come round to cut back some conifers (in May). I saw him looking at the trees and went and asked him what he was looking at. He told me he was going to cut down one tree completely, and thin out the others.
I mentioned that I thought there were birds nesting in the trees and said I would inform the authorities if he went ahead. He went off and told the chair that he couldn't cut the trees at the time and they arranged for him to return in the August.
I suspect if I hadn't had a word, he would have gone ahead and cut them down straight away.
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2009, 19:46   #21
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There are plenty of people getting their trees cut in the summer. The tree service people pretty much do what the owners tell them. They may have more work in the fall, though.

Our city park people cut down a tree next to a tree with an owl nest. The owls abandoned the nest. The tree cutters think they can work at least 6 months without even looking for nests.
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Old Thursday 30th April 2009, 11:08   #22
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Trouble is, had you then moved the box, you would have been interfering with a nest ...

I would suspect that the tree surgeons were not proper ones at all. The tree surgeons we use on a regular basis, always check for nests before starting work, and actually told me how they had upset one of the people for whom they used to do work, as they refused to do work on a large tree and a hedge in the garden because they contained nests.
Hi Kits

Exactly. I hated the fact I had to remove the box as it was buried under a heap of evergreen conifer branches. so yes i was breaking the law too.

Looking back I knew that the Tree surgeon was a 'nobody' and not qaulified. His whole dimena said that he was not qualified to do the work. The simple fact he was using equipment that would hurt him too let alone cutting down a tree.

These days it is important to go to courses to use a chain Saw let alone any other electrical equipment. Health and Safety rules but in this case for a good reason. But - hey that was his look out after all !

I am glad to know that genuine Tree surgeons will stick up for nesting birds too by telling people who are ignorant of the fact too!

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I live in a flat with a communal garden. Two years ago, the chair of the residents assoc. had tree surgeons to come round to cut back some conifers (in May). I saw him looking at the trees and went and asked him what he was looking at. He told me he was going to cut down one tree completely, and thin out the others.
I mentioned that I thought there were birds nesting in the trees and said I would inform the authorities if he went ahead. He went off and told the chair that he couldn't cut the trees at the time and they arranged for him to return in the August.
I suspect if I hadn't had a word, he would have gone ahead and cut them down straight away.
Well said Rezmole. Sometimes it needs a person to tell the situation as it is and what you did was make the Chair person see sense.
Just because someone was a very well pruned garden does not mean birds have to suffer.

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There are plenty of people getting their trees cut in the summer. The tree service people pretty much do what the owners tell them. They may have more work in the fall, though.

Our city park people cut down a tree next to a tree with an owl nest. The owls abandoned the nest. The tree cutters think they can work at least 6 months without even looking for nests.
Hi Tero

Gosh the law is very lapsed in the USA, compared with the UK. Is there nothing to stop people from cutting down trees willy nilly at all.

I am sure the Council Park employees in the UK, are aware of the law too.

What happens if there is a rare birds nest destroyed?
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