At Steel and Maw Tree Experts we actively promote and are dedicated to the conservation and preservation of urban trees and woodland environments. Sustainable management and use of renewable natural resources are at the core of our values. Wildlife conservation is a key part of this. We are fully committed to the protection of wild plants and animals and the habitats that host them. We are always pleased to advise or recommend any practices that benefit these vital natural assets.
The habitat of all nesting birds is protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 (amended 1984), and reinforced by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000. This legislation dictates that all tree, hedge or vegetation works must be carefully undertaken to avoid any risk of disturbing nesting birds.
The ‘Bird Nesting Season’ officially runs from February until August (Natural England), with the busiest period for nesting from 1st March to 31st July. Whenever tree works, hedge-line or vegetation clearance work are undertaken during the nesting season, we always carry out a pre-works survey, and work on the assumption that birds may well be nesting in all types of foliage at this time. We are meticulous when inspecting potential habitats for all species, and we ensure that no work commences until we are certain that no actively nesting birds will be disturbed.
Ground vegetation also plays host to many species of bird, so we take additional care when accessing a work site that might be a possible nesting area. Likewise, a dead or dying tree may well be a habitat for plants and wildlife. We are especially vigilant when inspecting trees with hollows and crevices which can provide important roost sites for bats and nest sites for birds.
Bat roosts are protected by the same legislation as nesting birds. All native bats are European protected species. It is an offence to kill or harm such species or to damage or disturb their breeding or resting places.
Prior to carrying out any work on potential roosting sites, we ensure there are no bats or roosting sites present. If we are unable to confirm this, or if we are in any doubt, we will contact Natural England or the Bat Conservation Trust prior to any works.
Severely pruning trees can be detrimental to wildlife, since it diminishes the available habitat. Where possible, we aim to minimise the impact of our works by leaving some deadwood as a habitat for small mammals and insects, and by allowing tree crowns to develop and provide cover, where agreed with the customer.