Q19: Is it illegal to cut down a tree/hedge whilst there are birds nesting in it?

It is an offence to cut down a hedge or tree intentionally or recklessly whilst there are birds nesting in it.

Reckless is a term often used in legal definitions and in this context, it means that if you cut the tree down and you knew there was a chance that birds were nesting there and you didn't check (and there were birds nesting there), then you will have been reckless and therefore guilty of the offence.

The penalties are imprisonment and/or a fine. If there is more than one bird, nest or egg then there will be a separate fine for each one.

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