For further information on our bird or other protected species surveys, call us on 029 2002 2320.
All wild birds (resident, visiting, and introduced species) are protected by law under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) in England and Wales. With respect to developments it is illegal to:
Specially protected ‘Schedule 1’ birds receive additional protection over and above that afforded to all wild birds, making it also illegal to intentionally or recklessly disturb any wild bird listed on Schedule 1 while nesting (building or at a nest containing eggs or young), or disturb any of its dependent young.
Disturbances can occur as a result of development works within close proximity of a nest, as well as directly through the loss of nesting sites.
If convicted of an offence the penalties can be severe, including a fine of up to £5000 (per bird, nest, or egg) and/or six months imprisonment.
Unlike other protected species there is no provision for a licence to allow wild birds to be disturbed or nests destroying as a part of land development. Best practice is to avoidance committing an offence by implementing mitigation measures to reduce the risk of disturbance – e.g. scheduling of works outside of breeding times, or screening off exclusion areas around nests.