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Leader of Thanet District Council calls for internal review after hedge cutting at Margate Winter Gardens

The leader of a councilhas promised no further hedge cutting will be undertaken until October as the authority looks to launch an internal review into recent maintenance.

Thanet District Council came under fire for work undertaken at Margate Winter Gardens, which was branded "catastrophic carnage" by campaigners.

It was feared that wild bird nests had been disturbed, but police have confirmed no evidence of damage was found.

Thanet council was investigated by police following complaints about hedgewor cutting at Margate WInter Gardens (12334627)
Thanet council was investigated by police following complaints about hedgewor cutting at Margate WInter Gardens (12334627)

Despite police saying TDC's actions were not illegal, authority leader Cllr Bob Bayford has called for an internal review.

"I want to reassure residents that TDC is committed to safeguarding our coastline and countryside," he said.

"Our priority should always be to preserve and enhance Thanet's biodiversity and natural environment.

Thanet council says no more hedge or tree cutting will be happening until October 1, unless necessary(12334639)
Thanet council says no more hedge or tree cutting will be happening until October 1, unless necessary(12334639)

"As such, Cllr Ashbee and I have called for an internal review into the hedge maintenance work carried out at the Winter Gardens on Tuesday, June 4.

"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."

Cllr Bayford has also confirmed that there will be no further tree or hedge maintenance work carried out by the council until October 1.

Thanet council leader Bob Bayford has called for an internal review(12334733)
Thanet council leader Bob Bayford has called for an internal review(12334733)

He added: "The only exception would be if there are any urgent health and safety concerns identified by our health and safety compliance officer, or if we are served a notice by Kent County Council under the highways act."

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it 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.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet


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