Landowners reminded: ‘Now is the time for hedge-cutting’

Landowners are being reminded that they are obliged, under the Roads Act of 1993, to take all reasonable care to ensure that trees, ditches, hedges and other vegetation growing on their land do not pose a danger to people on a public road or public footpath.

The matter was brought to the attention of local landowners by Cork County Council, which is raising awareness of the need to maintain roadside trees and hedges.

Landowners are also reminded that liability for damage, or injury resulting from such hazards, will rest with them.

Uncut hedges and trees are a serious road safety hazard and can cause substantial damage to vehicles, particularly heavy goods vehicles, the local authority says.

Examples of hazards include dead or dying trees, ditches or hedges interfering with traffic, blocking footpaths, obscuring road signs, public lighting, or road users’ visibility.

Landowners/occupiers are required to fell, cut, log, trim or remove such trees, ditches and hedges, the county council notes.

Particular attention should be given to damaged or weakened trees or limbs and stumps of felled trees as a result of storms and to ensure that all necessary work should be carried out while hedges are dormant from the beginning of September to the end of February.

Hedgerows are vital to biodiversity and it’s important that landowners keep in mind that any cutting, grubbing and burning of vegetation on uncultivated land between March 1, and August 31 is prohibited under the Wildlife Acts.

Road side hedgerows make up only a small percentage of the overall hedgerows in the county and landowners are encouraged to check out the website to learn more about protecting wildlife and promoting biodiversity on their lands.

Cork County Council concluded noting that it would like to remind all landowners and occupiers that notices may be served on those who do not comply with their statutory obligations.