Nesting Season Regulations
The 1st of March marks the beginning of nesting season. Meaning hedgerows around Ireland protected by law for most of spring and the entire summer seasons in Ireland. Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976, as amended by Section 46 of the 2000 Amendment Act, prohibits the cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction of vegetation. With certain strict exemptions, from 1 March to 31 August, typically relating to roadside hedge cutting for road safety purposes.
Why Nesting Season is Important
Believe it or not but our hedgerows are wonderful habitats. Creating sanctuaries for up to 35 wild bird species, such as robins, wren, blackbirds, and thrush. These birds all nest in our hedges which support a rich diversity of wildlife such as birds, bees, insects, butterflies. This diversity of wildlife helps fight the climate change crisis by breathing in and storing carbon. Hedgerows are also used by barn owls and bats as essential transport corridors. They are essential to our biodiversity which highlights the need to protect them.
Our biodiversity contributes nearly €2.6 billion every year to the Irish economy. This is in the form of ecosystem services such as water/air quality, fertile soil, or pollination. Tree cover in Ireland being the lowest in Europe. Alongside biodiversity loss throughout the country, our hedgerows are a crucial element in protecting our environment.
How you can help
Build a Bird Box
Many of our bird species are in decline, even some of the most common birds you spot in your garden. This is mostly down to habitat degradation and due to the way, we use and manage land. So, when it comes down to it, humans are the cause of less natural nesting sites for our wild birds. That’s where the wildlife act comes into play, to protect habitats and nesting sites. There is another action you can do from your home, create new nesting locations in the form of bird boxes. The diagram below can help you build your own nest box, and you can paint or decorate however you like!
Place a Bird Box in your Garden
You can put up a nest box at any time of the year, even during or after nesting season. Although if you put it up after March you may need to wait until the following nesting season to see any action in your bird box. But it will give the birds time to scope out and investigate nesting locations for the following spring. If you find that your bird box is not being used for a few seasons perhaps change the location. (Always wait until after August to do this in case, there is a next inside that you were not aware of). Research the best place in your garden to place your bird box, ideally it should be located at least 2m from the ground. You can place it on a fence, tree, or wall, and use a wire strap instead of nailing it to the tree.
Share this tutorial on Facebook on with your friends!
You can also donate to help us protect and support animal welfare by clicking here.