Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan has confirmed this week that the hedge cutting season is to be reviewed.

Minister Deenihan said: “The Wildlife Acts 1976 to 2012 prohibit the cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction of vegetation, with certain strict exemptions, from 1 March to 31 August during the nesting and breeding season for birds and wildlife.”

He continued: “Vegetation such as hedgerows and scrub is important as wildlife habitat and needs to be managed in the interests of both farming and biodiversity.”

He commented: “I have initiated a review of the current legislation to ensure that it remains both effective and balanced. As part of that review, the potential for setting the relevant dates by statutory instrument, rather than in primary legislation, as is the position currently, will be examined.”

The Minister was responding to a parliamentary question from Mayo-based TD Michelle Mulherin who asked if he will consider introducing a more flexible approach to defining the annual period when hedge cutting along roads is prohibited which would allow the period to commence earlier and to cease at the end of July each year.