Tree Surgery and Wildlife

As a tree surgery company, it is our job to cut or remove trees and hedges. People often wonder whether our job poses a risk to wildlife and if there are any measures put in place to ensure that wildlife such as nesting birds are protected, while still allowing necessary tree surgery to take place.

In this blog, we are going to take a look at what happens when tree surgeons cross paths with wildlife while attempting to complete a job.


In order to protect wild birds that could be in danger, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 was created. Amongst other points, this act states that you cannot intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of wild birds while they are being used or built. Amendments were then later added, which made some of the offences arrestable, as well as adding the new offence of ‘reckless disturbance’. This new rule would mean that it was no longer excusable for tree surgeons to claim ignorance to their being a bird’s nest present, as this would be classed as them acting recklessly.

As tree surgeons, it is our responsibility to conduct a thorough inspection of any trees and hedges we work on before taking action, to ensure that we will not be harming any wildlife. Nesting season tends to last between February and August so during these months we are extra vigilant. If nesting birds are found, our scheduled work needs to be postponed until they move on.


Despite wildlife protection and conservation being one of a tree surgeon’s higher priorities, there are certain exceptions that will allow work to commence on a tree or hedge even if there is a bird’s nest present. 

If leaving a hedge or tree untouched would present health and safety concerns and pose a serious potential threat, work can still be carried out even if a bird’s nest is present. In order for this to happen, the tree surgeon would need to gain permission from someone in a position of relevant authority. This could be someone from the Department For Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Contact Treesaw

If you are located in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate or Wakefield and are concerned about a hedge or tree on your property, give Treesaw a call. Our team of highly skilled professionals are here to help with all your tree surgery needs. If you would like t get in touch with us you can call 0113 239 1271 or fill out our online enquiry form.