The Heritage Council has expressed fears that Heather Humphreys’ review of hedge cutting could result in a blanket exemption for roadside hedges all year round. This, they warn, would have a devastating impact on wildlife and destroy biodiversity.
The following is taken from the Heritage Council website…
The Heritage Council calls on people to have their say on hedge cutting and burning of vegetation
Minister Humphreys to review existing burning and hedge cutting controls
Danger that review could result in blanket exemption destroying our biodiversity
Thursday 4th December 2014: The Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys has announced that she is undertaking a review of Section 40 of the Wildlife Act which sets the times for cutting of hedges and burning of vegetation each year.
Currently, the closed dates for cutting hedges are set at 1 March to 31 August, to protect nesting birds. The Heritage Council is calling on people to have their say. Commenting on the review Catherine Casey, Laois Heritage Officer said, “The bird nesting season is starting earlier each year and in recent years we are seeing an increase in the number of birds nesting outside the closed period, with many nests being destroyed especially in February. While there are many exemptions to the current closed dates the fear is that this review by the Minister could result in a blanket exemption for roadside hedges all year round. Such an exemption will have a devastating impact on our wildlife”.
“The purpose of Section 40 of the Wildlife Act is to protect bird life during the nesting season, to prevent forest fires and protect vegetation and wildlife habitats during the months of growth and reproduction. We are encouraging anyone who has concerns about hedgerows and wildlife to write to the Minister and outline their concerns. You can send your submissions to email@example.com, with “Review of Section 40” as the subject. The closing date is Friday 9th January 2015”.
The full (short) discussion document is at http://www.npws.ie/legislationandconventions/