Breeding Bird Season on Development Projects

Spring is here, well, sort of… Up in Scotland in between the increasingly intermittent flurries of snow we’re seeing the crocuses coming through the ground, the wild garlic unfurling in the forests, and an increasing variety of avian activity in the skies around us.  Up near the Cairngorms we’ve had meadow pipits and pied wagtails coming in around site, along with mistle thrush, lapwing and oystercatchers, and we’ve seen our first migrating osprey flying over.

So what does this mean for a construction project? Under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 the following stands for nearly all bird species. It is an offence to intentionally or recklessly:

  • kill, injure or take a wild bird;
  • take, damage, destroy or interfere with a nest of any wild bird whilst it is in use or being built (or at any time for a nest habitually used by any bird listed in Schedule A1);
  • obstruct or prevent any wild bird from using its nest;
  • take or destroy an egg of any wild bird;
  • disturb any wild bird listed on Schedule 1 whilst it is building a nest or is in, on, or near a nest containing eggs or young, or whilst lekking;
  • disturb the dependent young of any wild bird listed on Schedule 1.

This means effectively, that if a bird comes in and nests on your job, you can’t move it on. So if a pied wagtail nests in a bit of plant that’s essential? You can’t use it. Meadow pipit’s nest on the ground you wish to excavate? You can’t excavate there. This can lead to significant implications to a project in terms of programme and budget, and as such it’s important to reduce the risk of these incidents happening on your site.

There are a wide range of ways to deter birds and reduce the risk of disruption dependent on the situation, including factors such as managing stored materials, to the use of deterrents such as ticker tape, spinners and hawk eyes, kites, audible bird scarers, and on occasion, trained hawks. There’s no perfect ‘one size fits all’ package, but Ellendale Environmental can help determine the solution that will be most effective for you.

Why Choose Ellendale Environmental?

Ellendale Environmental’s Ecologists and ECoWs can help you in determining the methods that are most appropriate to your project, and assist you in the installation and management of these features in order to keep the risk of disruption to your project at a minimum level.

We have provided advice and guidance on mitigation to ensure that developments can proceed, and can offer advice and guidance on the protection and creation of habitat to enhance the population of local bird species after development.

Pied wagtails  by  Nick Goodrum  is licensed under  CC BY 2.0

Pied wagtails by Nick Goodrum is licensed under CC BY 2.0

ECoWEmma Downie