Individuals, communities, farmers… we explain to you why it is strongly recommended not to trim your hedge from March 15

Individuals, communities, farmers... we explain to you why it is strongly recommended not to trim your hedge from March 15

Les haies peuvent accueillir 35 espèces de mammifères et 80 espèces d'oiseaux. Pixabay – Alexas_Fotos

Like every year, the Bird Protection League and environmental defense associations remind you that hedges should not be trimmed between March 15 and July 31.

As spring approaches, individuals devote more time to maintaining gardens and outdoor spaces. But beware. From March 15, 2024, it is strongly recommended by the French Biodiversity Office (OFB) not to trim hedges.

For farmers, this practice is even prohibited by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) until August 15, 2024, reports Le Parisien Jardin. With a formal and generalized ban throughout the territory between April 1 and July 31, 2024. 

Prevention of natural risks

Hedges play an important role in preventing natural risks. This is a "very important place to live for biodiversity", explains the Prefecture de l’Oise on its site. They are particularly necessary for birds, which can make their nests there. The nesting period begins in mid-March.

"To avoid disturbing or dislodging birds during this crucial period for their life cycle, the French Biodiversity Office recommends not trimming hedges or pruning trees from March 15 to July 31, adds authority.

The OFB specifies that the ideal is to extend this period to the end of August in order to ensure that the last chicks have fledged.

What does the law say ?

No law prohibits cutting hedges for individuals or communities, unlike the agricultural sector. But, there are sometimes local regulations in force which may impose a ban.

Many departments or municipalities have thus issued decrees to prohibit individuals and communities from all work on hedges during the nesting period, such as destruction, maintenance, or even removal. size. It is therefore recommended to contact the town hall of each municipality to check them.

For farmers, the nature protection law of 1976 is categorical: they are prohibited from trimming their hedgesbetween March 16 and August 15, 2024. Failing to comply with this law is punishable by & #39;a sentence of up to three years' imprisonment and 500 € fine "for violating the conservation of non-domestic animal species and for destroying their habitat".< /p>

They may also see their aid from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reduced. The environmental police (agents from the DDT and the French Office for Biodiversity) are responsible for detecting offenses of this type.

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