Defra Blame EU for August Hedgecutting Ban

Pan mixer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Near Colchester
Apparently it is not Defra's fault that the hedgecutting will be banned in England next year.
They have said that England will be fined if it allows August trimming due to the effect on small nesting birds.

I would suggest that the EU started by fining (and enforcing) the European residents who shoot so many small birds to eat.

Thinking about it, maybe the EU want to encourage the birds to nest here so that there is more to shoot during next years migration
 
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Apparently it is snot Defra's fault that the hedgecutting will be banned in England next year.
They have said that England will be fined if it allows August trimming due to the effect on small nesting birds.

I would suggest that the EU started by fining (and enforcing) the European residents who shoot so many small birds to eat.

Thinking about it, maybe the EU want to encourage the birds to nest here so that there is more to shoot during next years migration
We haven't been allowed to cut hedges in NI during August for years, you'll be grand!
 

tanker

Member
Same here,it's a pita on wetter farms like this one but you risk doing it earlier at your peril,plenty of guys have been fined off their sfp,due to some 'fine-spirited' people reporting them often as not..
 

llamedos

New Member
Apologies for my ignorance in all things Hedge Cutting, but why are they cut when carrying all the winter fruit, surely this has an effect on bird life over the winter more so than losing a few nests.
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
Apologies for my ignorance in all things Hedge Cutting, but why are they cut when carrying all the winter fruit, surely this has an effect on bird life over the winter more so than losing a few nests.
It is normal practice to cut the.hedges as soon as the.combine.has been in, this allows the following cultivations and drilling to take place. Leaving till September is going to give large farms a major headache.
 

llamedos

New Member
It is normal practice to cut the.hedges as soon as the.combine.has been in, this allows the following cultivations and drilling to take place. Leaving till September is going to give large farms a major headache.
Every year? do they ever fruit, Why do you need to cut them back, do they encroach into your acreage so much resulting in loss of cropping ground.
 

Kevtherev

Member
Location
Welshpool Powys
What will happen is people will leave a headland margin so that a tractor and trimmer can get in anytime and prob get a payment on it.
Yes plenty of fruit and berries on annual growth.
 

Yale

Member
Livestock Farmer
Every year? do they ever fruit, Why do you need to cut them back, do they encroach into your acreage so much resulting in loss of cropping ground.
Generally hedges which are trimmed annually will bear little fruit anyway as you need more than one years growth to give flowering branches,therefore fruit.

Annual trimming is good from a management practice as it stops hedges getting out of control and keeps them tidy putting the least stress on the hedge trimming machine/cutter.

If you go to 2 year trimming the fruiting ability is only increased marginally but when trimmed they look like they have had a 'bad haircut'.

3 or more years and you are left with hedges which are extremely difficult to trim,but proportionally would fruit well.

Around here if you left hedges 3 years on roadsides they would become practically impassible to large vehicles.(especially bigger tractors with sticking out mirrors.)
 

llamedos

New Member
Your first point is what I was getting at. If the new rules toward greening are concerned with this, just the act of them being cut each year seems totally at odds with it.

Roadsides I can understand, safety before wildlife.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Leaving a long interval between trims is not always such a good thing.
When the trim happens after a long interval it leaves an ugly hedge which is very open and poor for next year.

My garden hedge of mixed native species is trimmed twice a year and has a lot of food in it and provides plenty of cover for nesting
Trimming encourages a good thick hedge which stops the ingress of corvids and other nest robbers
 

RobFZS

Member
saving up for my own hedgecutter so might give me abit of extra work if everyone's flat out trying to go round before its wet
 

Pan mixer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Near Colchester
Every year? do they ever fruit, Why do you need to cut them back, do they encroach into your acreage so much resulting in loss of cropping ground.
Not all hedges have fruit, many of the hedges locally are almost pure elm, a nightmare to cut biannially let alone triannually. Elm can and does grow individual branches up to 6 feet long in a year, never looks nice when it is trimmed after a long gap and provides very little cover for small birds as it is quite open.
 

Kidds

Member
Generally the point of hedges is to create a stock proof boundary to fields. By cutting them annually you keep them nice and tight and stock proof. It just so happens that over the centuries birds have realised what a good habitat us farmers have created for them and they can happily nest and raise their young within these tight hedges safe from most predators.

In recent years it has changed so the stock within the fields come a very distant second to the birds within the hedges as far as importance goes.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Personally I prefer to trim annually in winter anyway. That way the birds get the fruit and brambles and the hedge also seems to cut better with no leaves on it. Also with no leaves, you can see what are you doing more easily, and see obstacles and fence posts within the hedge and through to to the other side. You do need a dry spell or hard frost to keep soil and crop damage minimal. Also there is more time in winter.
 

ARW

Member
Location
Yorkshire
Imo biannual trimming ruins a prefect habitat for small nesting birds. A hedge cut annually will produce fruit every year and even after been cut it can still contain fruit where the machine has not touched.
The best Farm hedges I cut is about 500 acres, cut every year in February on the grass margins, leaving fruit all winter and creating a good habit come march for nesting period.
Biannual cutting was brought in so there is more winter forage but from what I see every year hedge trimming, the biannual hedges leafless, open, giving no shelter to nesting birds only pigeons!
With the cutting date moving to the 1st of September a lot less arable land hedges will get cut so we will probably see hedges getting 3-4 years growth on them before they get trimmed therfore leaving less hedges for small nesting birds.
For example we cut 500 hours worth of hedges in August, about 300-400 in september then we start grasses and roadsides. In this area most land is started to be drilled mid september and alot are finished by early October. So in theory we would have to compete 700-800 hours hedgecutting in september which is impossible. We will loose custom and there will be a shortage of a hedgecutter available in the short period of september, alot hedges will be left and try and cut them the next year.
We find this abit awkward as we see no real advantage as the only bird still nesting in August is pigeons.
More pigeons Yayyyyyy!
 

franklin

New Member
Most round here have been shaved to within an inch of their lives. Ditch sides all done too.

Me? I have margins round my fields not in any schemes, so can get all my hedges when I feel like.

I'm afraid if you want the free money, you have to jump through the hoops.
 

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