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Not wanting to disturb a bird's nest

Hello, I'd be very pleased of some advice please.

We are about to embark on a small building project which will require us to take down and replace an old 6' high garden fence covered in ivy.

Our neighbours think that there may be an active birds nest in the ivy, and although there was some years ago, we don't think that there has been one for a couple of years and we cannot see one.

Obviously, we don't want to disturb any active bird's nest and we are aware that we shouldn't do so in terms of the law.

Does anyone know of someone who could take a look at the fence and ivy as a recognised independent verifier to determine whether there is or is not a currently active nest, thereby enabling us to build now or determining that we will need to wait to make our small alteration in September, -  the build for quite an urgent need for us?

We would be very grateful for any and all advice. We are in central Cambridge.

  • Hi
    Not sure if there is a local council department for wildlife? Or possibly the planning department could put you in touch with someone, as they need to survey area's for wildlife for new building works, so should have reliable contractors.
  • As you're posting, I'm guessing you can't get the neighbours to help find their 'suspected nest'?
  • Janecg said:

    Hello, I'd be very pleased of some advice please.

    We are about to embark on a small building project which will require us to take down and replace an old 6' high garden fence covered in ivy.

    Our neighbours think that there may be an active birds nest in the ivy, and although there was some years ago, we don't think that there has been one for a couple of years and we cannot see one.

    Obviously, we don't want to disturb any active bird's nest and we are aware that we shouldn't do so in terms of the law.

    Does anyone know of someone who could take a look at the fence and ivy as a recognised independent verifier to determine whether there is or is not a currently active nest, thereby enabling us to build now or determining that we will need to wait to make our small alteration in September, -  the build for quite an urgent need for us?

    We would be very grateful for any and all advice. We are in central Cambridge.

    I'm guessing you will be on social media of one  form or another, a lot of neighbourhoods do have a local neighbourhood group, a very easy and centralised information point, some more than one, and likewise, there will be local wildlife groups. Have a search and there may be someone from one of those groups who may be able to help you.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to ItisaRobbo:

    Correct! They are not very cooperative or friendly, I'm afraid! And we don't want to cause any problems by disturbing a possible nest that would in fact be on their side of our fence, as our side is clear.
  • In reply to Janecg:

    That sort of changes things, as they will have a better idea of whether anything is nesting on their side. Obviously, they could be making it up, to keep the boundary as it is. But, if it is on their side, not sure anything can legitimately be done until breeding season is over.
  • If there is a nest then ideally the work needs to be done after the birds have fledged and nesting season has finished.

    Wild birds: protection and licences - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

  • Thank you both for your replies. Yes we're not sure how we can be absolutely sure and obviously we really don't want to disturb any active nest, but from what we can see through into the ivy and bush there is nothing there (there certainly is a lot of activity in a bush on our other boundary with another neighbour, that is very obvious from all the noise and coming and going and noise!)

    I was wondering, we have a lot of squirrel activity in the garden and the squirrels run through the ivy and bush frequently at this spot - would birds still be comfortable to nest there?

    And finally, does anyone know - can we get in someone independent, with knowledge, to check. Who would / could we ask? Many thanks.
  • In reply to Janecg:

    Janecg said:

    I was wondering, we have a lot of squirrel activity in the garden and the squirrels run through the ivy and bush frequently at this spot - would birds still be comfortable to nest there?

    And finally, does anyone know - can we get in someone independent, with knowledge, to check. Who would / could we ask? Many thanks.

    re squirrels, seems birds don’t always see them as a threat. Depends, but you said you are likely to have nests on the other side of the garden, so I don’t think the threat would be different from one side to the other. 

    re your last point, my previous response was possibly too vague. I personally don’t see how you will be able to get anyone else involved without the neighbours cooperating as you said it was primarily in their garden. Most people avoid confrontation, so I can’t see anyone stating there are no nests on the other side without having access.

  • Thank you for all the advice, we'll try and persuade them to let us to take a look with them, as the hedge is very quiet. Or maybe they'd take a photo for us - sorry, just thinking aloud! Thanks again.