'We can all do our best to help wildlife'

I AM writing to give my support to all the points mentioned by John Groves in his letter in the Courier last week entitled "Please Do Not Cut Hedges During Bird Nesting Time".

This is a subject I feel very strongly about, having first encountered the carnage of spring hedge cutting in Norfolk where I used to live.

I cannot understand why some farmers still insist on doing this when birds are nesting. As pointed out by John Groves, two nests were destroyed in a short stretch of lane in East Village.

Hedging machines are ruthless. It doesn't bear thinking about how many other nests have been destroyed and what happened to their contents, whether eggs or chicks.

I was also dismayed to see the recent tree felling beside the road at Cowley. All the trees were in full summer leaf.

Surely this could have been done in the winter? (and not in the rush hour, either).

Likewise, the tree/shrub clearance for the link road in Crediton. Why wasn't this also done in the winter?

I wonder how many nests were destroyed during this and I am also concerned as to what has happened to the deer that were seen frequently on this hill before the work commenced.

Spring and summer roadside hedge cutting is just one thing our dwindling species of birds have to cope with.

Also, every spring, just as trees and shrubs are looking their most beautiful in people's gardens, out come the chainsaws.

If a deciduous shrub or tree needs a drastic pruning or felling, it is much more logical to do it in winter before the sap rises and when the branches are most visible.

Many other creatures, apart from birds, depend on trees for their survival i.e. larvae of moths/butterflies, dormice, beetles, bats, squirrels and deer etc.

It would be such a shame for our apparent desire to cut down trees at the wrong time of year, to result in the local extinction of certain birds and animals, especially in Devon, which relies on its beautiful countryside for tourism.

On a positive note, hats off and a big "thank you" to all the farmers and other people who are savvy enough to follow the guidelines laid down by the RSPB.

Their kind and thoughtful actions enable our wildlife and wild flowers to thrive, by avoiding hedge trimming in the bird breeding months and the months when the hedgerows are in fruit.

We can all do our bit to help wildlife, planting trees, for example. It just needs more of us to be aware that we share this planet with our fellow creatures.

Just because we have the ability to dominate over other species, does not give us the right to destroy their habitats.

As human beings we have a duty to protect and nurture everything that makes Devon (and the whole planet if it comes to that), beautiful. Otherwise, what is the point of life?

Helen Perriman


By email