‘All night silage-cutting’ complaint prompts fiery online debate

A complaint made by a local community page in Co. Down about “all night silage-cutting”, which encouraged members of the public to complain to authorities about the activity, has triggered a lively debate in recent days.

The ‘Greencastle Co. Down’ Facebook page took to social media on Monday, August 10, to complain about the nocturnal agricultural activity, stating:

All night silage-cutting. A few weeks ago many residents in the Greencastle area [both young and old] had to endure the terrible noise and bright lights of silage-cutting vehicles working through the night into the early hours of the morning.

“If this occurs again please lift the phone and give details to the Environmental Health Department of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council,” the post added.

This prompted significant backlash, with 277 comments made, mostly pushing back against the message and pointing out the time-sensitive nature of silage cutting.

Responses included: “Why would anyone put a status like that up? If the weather’s right no matter what day or time it is, silage has to be lifted to feed animals to feed your local community?” and “silage needs to be cut to feed the animals; unfortunately, our weather is so unpredictable it has to be done”.

In response to this, the Greencastle page said: “Everyone has missed the point.

No-one is complaining about the farmers going about their legitimate business, cutting silage, etc, but by doing it on multiple vehicles during the night with high-powered spot lights trained on residents’ homes is not on.

“Noise and light pollution is against the law,” it said.

One reply said: “Would you rather they went without lights and took the garden fence with them?”