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Case Study

Nesting Bird Check in Macclesfield, Cheshire

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Arbtech were asked to carry out a nesting bird check at a site in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Site Background

The proposed development site will be the location of a large new school. As part of the development, the roads needed to be improved to allow better access to the proposed new site. To accommodate this some tree and vegetation removal had to be carried out. As this removal was to take place during the nesting bird season a nesting bird check was required to ensure that the client was abiding by the law by not disturbing or damaging any active bird nests. For details of a nesting bird and why they are required please see the box below:

What’s the point of a nesting bird check?

Arbtech were asked to carry out nesting bird check at a site in Macclesfield. Nesting bird checks are required when vegetation it be removed or pruned during the nesting bird season. The nesting bird season runs from 1st March to 31st August and is the season that birds are most likely to be actively nesting. Although some bird such as the wood pigeon, will nest all year round, the large majority of bird species will nest during this season. Birds, their nests and their eggs are protected by the law from disturbance and/or destruction. This means that a birds’ nest cannot be disturbed or destroyed whilst it is being built and whilst is it in use. Only once the nest has either been abandoned or the chicks have fledged can the nest be removed. Therefore, before any vegetation removal or works can go ahead during the nesting bird season, a nesting bird check must be carried out by a suitably qualified ecologist.

What’s involved in a nesting bird check?

A nesting bird check involves an ecologist coming to site and searching all areas of vegetation that will be affected by the proposed works, looking for any active bird nests. Any suspected bird nests will be observed for a minimum of 30 minutes to look for any active nesting behaviour. This can include seeing the bird bringing back nesting material or food for their young.

What are the outcomes?

If a birds’ nest is located then a buffer zone must be left around the nest to ensure it is not disturbed and must be left until it is no longer active. If no active nests are found then the works can go ahead, however the works must be done within 48 hours of the nesting bird check to ensure no new nests are formed in the interim. If this time lapses then a new nesting bird check must be carried out by the ecologist.

Survey and Outcome

One of Arbtech’s ecologists, Mel, arranged a date and time for the survey to take place. It is especially important when arranging nesting bird checks because, as mentioned above, the check must be carried out 48 hours before the vegetation removal takes place. Mel turned up to site and signed in. She carried out a visual inspection of all the vegetation to be removed, talking the client through the process as she went. After carrying out the survey it was concluded that there were no active bird nests in the affected vegetation meaning that the vegetation removal could proceed.

If you require a nesting bird check you can fill out our online contact form to receive a same-day quotation or call our head office on 01244 661170 to speak to someone over the phone.

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