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Nests in your chimney can be a BIG problem

April 11, 2019

JACKDAW nesting season is here – and that could be a problem for your fire and chimney. There are around 1.4 million pairs of Jackdaws in the UK!

Kevin Voice, of ‘The Soot Sergeant’, took these photos of nests in the Powys area.

These birds love to set-up home in chimneys. They generally nest in dark enclosed spaces from March / April, depending on the weather.

Emily Bignell, Supporter Advisor for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), said that nests found in chimneys were most often jackdaws.

She added: “All birds and their nests are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). The birds cannot legally be removed for being a nuisance or an inconvenience.”

Lawson Wight, from the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, said: “As the RSPB says, there can be legal obligations. However, if the nest represents a danger to the occupants of the house it’s a different matter. Seek advice from a professional sweep as individual situations can vary.”

He added: “All sweeps intending to remove a nest should carry the “General Licence” and understand who is an “Authorised Person” – see the links at the end of this article.

“UNDER NO circumstances should you try to light the fire and “smoke them out”. You are more likely to smoke yourself out or cause a huge and damaging chimney fire. You can see from pictures here just how much flammable nest material there can be.”


A bird guard like the one pictured here will prevent a nest in the chimney. The caps pictured are perfect for unused chimneys only.

Steven Howard, from The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, said: “It is very important to fit the right sort of guard. The wrong guard can prevent poisonous gasses from escaping up the chimney. Don’t be tempted to fit it yourself, it’s too easy to get things wrong.”

Your local professional chimney sweep can give you the best guidance about removing jackdaw nests. Get in touch with him or her via the directory.

Search our directory to find your local sweep

 General Licence link here

Authorised Person link here

HERE is a selection of photos showing the contents of jackdaw nests. Also see some of the unusual objects we find in these nests! As you can see, nests can be a big problem – ask your sweep about bird guards and caps.

A great variety of “stuff” from one nest


Looking down the chimney pot at jackdaw chicks. These were left to fledge and the nest was removed early autumn


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