As shown in the image above, it is currently fashionable to thrash hedgerows with mechanical flails and then trim them neat and square in late summer / early autumn. This effectively removes all of the berries from the Welsh landscape before the migrating and wintering thrushes arrive searching for food. This level and frequency of management is unnecessary and has a purely cosmetic purpose, i.e. to keep the hedges looking neat and tidy. In the not so distant past, hedgerows tended to be thrashed in early spring, just as many species of birds were starting use them them for nesting, but this practice has been actively discouraged and has all-but ceased. The reality is that there is no good time of year to do this intensive form of hedgerow management without having a significant negative impact on the dependent fauna.
As such, the recommended management must be light touch, i.e. only carried out as necessary for access or safety purposes, ideally in January or February, and even then with the management carried over relatively short stretches of hedgerow over a five or ten year rotation. This would ensure that only a short length of hedgerow is negatively impacted in any given year.