PROTECTING BIRDS DURING NESTING SEASON – BAN ON HEDGE-CUTTING
A reminder that hedge-cutting is banned from the end of February until the end of August has been issued by the Government. This is to protect wildlife during nesting season.
The Wildlife Act states that roadside hedge-cutting is only permitted between 1 September and the end of February. It prohibits cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction of vegetation.
This is to protect and maintain wildlife diversity by establishing areas where birds, in particular, can thrive during the nesting season.
Exceptions to this legislation are for works undertaken in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry, for public health and safety reasons (including road safety), for the destruction of noxious weeds and for the development of sites for building.
As we move through the spring and summer months, The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Local Government and Housing people to be aware of this ban.
In Ireland hedges are of exceptional importance in providing food and shelter, habitats and corridors for maintaining wildlife diversity, not only for birds, but also for other fauna and for wild plants, as there is relatively low cover of native woodland.
“Wrens, dunnocks, robins, thrushes and willow warblers as well as many rarer species depend greatly on hedgerow habitats” they said.
Birds favour untrimmed, thorned hedgerows containing shrubs such as blackthorn, whitethorn, holly, briars and brambles as they provide food, shelter, nesting places and protection from predators during the breeding season.