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Land manager cutting gras too frequently which harms pollinators and wild flowers and risks harming nesting birds.

Reported in the Grass and Hedges category anonymously at 09:27, Friday 10 July 2020

Sent to Oxfordshire County Council less than a minute later. Council ref: 2193957.

Grass cutting too frequent- removing valuable wildlife habitat. Cut every year too often. Needs cutting at most once a month in the central area leaving remaining longer- ideally leaving side close to hedge uncut. Important grass in central area kept shorter for safe use by pedestrians but currently cut so often wildflowers unable to bloom or cut before they seed, also cut wider than necessary. Currently cut during bird breeding season with ride on mower every two or three weeks or so. So close to hedge bottom may constitute crime under wildlife and countryside act 1981 due to disturbance of nesting birds. Chiffchaffs for example nest at hedge bases. Harms wildlife by removing hedge base flora and harms the appearance of the village approach. Over management is denuding the area and removing food for pollinating insects. I note hedge was also cut on the southern side in bird nesting season - the hedge was not causing an issue and was not obstructing. Cutting 1 March- 31 August risks breeding birds being harmed. The council has legal duties to protect wildlife.

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  • Thank you for your enquiry. This issue has been passed onto the relevant team for investigation.

    State changed to: Investigating

    Posted by Oxfordshire County Council at 09:28, Friday 10 July 2020

  • Thank you for your report. There will always be disagreements between the public as to how often verges should be cut, we would not usually stop a resident or adjacent landowner from cutting 'their' verge more often than our budget would allow. We would be unable to stop someone from cutting their own boundary hedge. The RSPCB recommend on their website not cutting hedges and trees between March and August as this is the main breeding season for nesting birds, although some birds may nest outside this period. They go on to "it is 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, or to intentionally kill, injure or take chicks or adults, or intentionally take or destroy any eggs. It is an intentional act, for example, if you or your neighbour know there is an active nest in the hedge and still cut the hedge, damaging or destroying the nest or contents in the process. If someone is cutting a hedge during this period, speak to them and politely mention the risk to birds’ nests, and the laws protecting nests. If they proceed, and you know there is an active nest at risk, contact the police on 101, and ask for a reference number. If you are unsure what to do, contact RSPB Wildlife Enquiries on: 01767 693690. Please note due to Coronavirus the Wildlife Enquiries team are currently unable to take calls but they are available on email wildlife@rspb.org.uk. Note: The Police have the responsibility for enforcing this legislation and the RSPB do not enforce the law on these cases. We can provide advice to the Police where appropriate." This report is now closed.

    State changed to: No further action

    Posted by Oxfordshire County Council at 13:07, Monday 13 July 2020

This report is now closed to updates. You can make a new report in the same location.