Villagers have waged ‘war’ on their council after contractors trimmed a beloved hedge so much that protesters believe it would have killed hundreds of animals.
More than 150 campaigners gathered to protest the cutting, which saw gardeners hack back the huge hedge almost down to the roots.
More than 150 campaigners gathered to protest the cutting, which saw gardeners hack back the huge hedge almost down to the roots
Thanet Council are under fire for the ‘ecological disaster’ in the Kent gardens because campaigners claim the trimming, which took place on June 4, would have killed or disturbed hundreds of animals
Amelia Gregory, from the Thanet Trees campaign group, said: ‘It was a disastrous decision to flail these bushes with a completely inappropriate industrial machine, without due checks for nesting birds.
‘They’ve lain waste to elderly ornamental hedging that may never recover, and leaving a huge bird population homeless.’
The council leader responded to the hedge cutting at Margate Winter Gardens in Kent by calling for an internal review and cancelling all hedge maintenance until October 1.
The RSPB advises the public not to cut or prune hedges and bushes between March and August due to the likelihood of birds nesting in hedgerows.
Thanet District Council leader Councillor Bob Bayford said: ‘I want to reassure residents that we are committed to safeguarding our coastline and countryside.
Amelia Gregory, from the Thanet Trees campaign group, said: ‘It was a disastrous decision to flail these bushes with a completely inappropriate industrial machine, without due checks for nesting birds
Thanet Council are now under internal review and all hedge trimming has been banned until October 1
‘Our priority should always be to preserve and enhance Thanet’s biodiversity and natural environment.’
Amelia added: ‘These bushes were the home of starlings and many other at risk species, and were most likely the stop off point for migratory birds, exhausted after their long flight across the sea.
‘Where will they live now? We believe this action was illegal and unethical and demand an urgent review of the council’s structure and environmental and open space strategies.’
Councillor Bob Bayford said: ‘Although Kent Police have confirmed they found no evidence of any disturbance or damage to nesting birds and therefore concluded that no offences have been committed, we are keen to understand the council’s approach to this work, with a view to continuous improvement.’
It is illegal to take, damage or destroy the nests of protected wild birds while they are being used or constructed under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.