I work for a golf club which owns a large field, not used for golf at all, but which is mown a couple of times a year to keep it tidy. But it has been left so long that it has become a wildflower meadow and home to lots of nesting skylarks. The boss wants it cut now as he says there is ragwort in it (there isn't). My view is that it is vandalism of the worst kind to mow but does anyone know how the law would stand on this?
This has been covered several times on this forum. I'll try to find one of the posts for you.
Anyway, all wild birds in the UK are covered by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 with regards to protection from intentional harm and the damage and destruction of active nests. So it is illegal to intentionally disturb nesting birds.
hope this helps
In reply to Anonymous:
Thank you Pipit, I'm new to this so not sure where to find old bits of information.
One of our very knowledgeable members , Buzzard, posted this a month or so ago -
The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 is one of the most important pieces of Wildlife legislation in this country.
It states it is an offence to...
Intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird
Intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built
Intentionally take or destroy an egg of any wild bird
The following link will give you all the advice you need.
I would recommend leaving the cutting for at least another month, by mid July many of the 'in field' nesting species such as skylarks will have completed their breeding seasons so cutting after that time is best practice.
We have some useful tips on managing such meadows on our website here. It might be worth printing the information off our website and highlighting the recommended cutting time to your boss as well as highlighting the legal aspect with regards to nesting birds.
Warden Intern at Otmoor.
In reply to Robbo:
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