Hedge-cutting ban in place once again until September

The annual hedge-cutting ban under the Wildlife Act has resumed once again as of yesterday, Sunday, March 1, and will remain in place until next September, An Garda Síochána has confirmed.

This is in spite of efforts made by the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) which last month called on the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to extend the hedge-cutting period for a further two weeks until March 17.

In a statement on social media yesterday, Gardaí based in Co. Meath said:

“We wish to remind the public that, under the Wildlife Act 1976, as amended, it is prohibited to cut, burn or otherwise destroy vegetation between March 1, and August 31, except in the case of any of the derogations permitted under the Wildlife Act.

This means that the cutting of hedgerows and the burning of gorse and other vegetation are prohibited during this period.

Under the Wildlife Act, legislation says: “Hedge/tree cutting should only be carried out during the period from September 1 to March 1 as it is an offence, under Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976, to cut or destroy any vegetation growing in land not then cultivated, or vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch during the period March 1 to August 31.”

In accordance with provisions under Section 46 of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, and in recognition of the value of habitats – such as hedgerows for nesting birds – the cutting of trees and hedgerows is not permitted from March 1 to August 31, except for reasons of public health and safety, the act outlines.