Published: 17:34, 09 July 2019
| Updated: 17:41, 09 July 2019
A council has promised a seven-point plan to address major concerns about its hedge cutting and grounds maintenance in the district.
Thanet District Council says will be taking action after a backlash last month when footage emerged of tractors chopping back foliage at the Margate Winter Gardens.
Campaigners feared wildlife nesting in the bushes were being harmed and a Kent Police investigation was launched but officers found no wrongdoing by the council and its contractors.
Council leader Bob Bayford (Con) confirmed the authority would be carrying out a full review and today pledged the council's action plan.
The steps include buying an infrared camera to detect possible nesting wildlife, seeking information from other councils about processes carried out across the county and will also be employing a new arboricultural officer.
Cllr Bayford said: "We have received a significant number of complaints and media attention regarding the hedge maintenance work carried out at the Winter Gardens on Tuesday 4 June.
"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 improve the processes followed in relation to this work in the future."
The council says it will be:
Angry residents claimed there was evidence nests were damaged by the work and reported their concerns to police.
It is a criminal offence to destroy the nesting sites of wild birds and anyone wanting to cut back foliage must carry out official checks to ensure it is done safely.
But the council says it has ensured there were no nests at the Winter Gardens and also did ahead of work at the former Canterbury Christ Church University campus in Broadstairs in early June.
The police carried out checks into whether any illegal acts had taken place under the under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The law states it is illegal to take, damage or destroy the nests of protected wild birds while they are being used or constructed.
The RSPB advises the public not to cut or prune hedges and bushes between March and August due to the likelihood of birds nesting, breeding and living in hedgerows.
More by this authorMatt Leclere