‘Please don’t trim your hedge just yet’

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GARDENERS in Eastbourne who are tempted to trim their hedges are being begged not to by a wildlife charity.

With the recent wet weather, much of the town looks set to disappear underneath a torrent of overgrown bushes and monstrous hedgerows.

But anyone who is contemplating getting the shears out is being asked to think about by the RSPB because doing so risks disrupting nesting birds and their young. The rain may have led to a growth spurt, but the warmer August weather means people are now more likely to get out and tackle any overgrown hedges.

And the RSPB though wants green fingered locals to refrain until the end of the month. It is especially important this year as the wet and cold weather in the early part of the year may mean that some species have bred later than normal and are still using their nests and feeding their young.

Samantha Stokes, from RSPB south east, said, “The humble hedge is a place of safety for many birds, especially in urban areas, as they may be the only suitable nesting places for birds.

“Although it’s tempting to trim up hedges at this time of year, our advice is not to. It’s against the law to intentionally damage an active nest or prevent parent birds access to their nests, and while most of us would never dream of causing intentional damage to a family of birds, an innocent over-keenness to keep a tidy garden can be harmful too.

“By early September most young birds will have fledged, so it should be safe to start trimming.”

More information is available at www.rspb.org.uk.