Pics: Farmer has ‘lucky escape’ as tractor overturns while hedgecutting

A farmer in Co. Down had a ‘lucky escape’ after the tractor he was driving overturned in a field while he was hedgecutting, toppling out onto the Portaferry Road, according to the PSNI.

The accident, which occurred on Wednesay, October 19, was attended by police from Newtownards who were forced to close the road, near Cloghey, in both directions until the tractor was removed.

The tractor is believed to have overturned onto the road, shortly after 1pm, due to a change in the ground level in the field.

Source: PSNI Ards

Source: PSNI Ards

The operator, a man in his 60s, was tended to by the Ambulance Service but it is not believed that he has any serious injuries.

The Portaferry Road was closed while the tractor was recovered, but the PSNI reopened the road shortly after 4.30pm.

PSNI Ards thanked local fire and rescue service personnel on their Facebook page for attending the accident.

Hedgecutting Regulations in the Republic of Ireland

Meanwhile, hedgecutting is restricted in the Republic of Ireland between March 1 and August 31 under Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts.

New legislation, which is to allow hedgecutting at certain times and under strict conditions in the closed period, is expected to be reintroduced to Seanad Eireann in the coming months under the Heritage Bill.

The existing provisions relating to Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts remain in operation in the meantime.

The Health and Safety Authority urges farmers to be careful when operating machinery such as hedgecutters around overhead electricity lines.

Earlier this year a man died in Co. Limerick after he was electrocuted when the hedgecutter he was operating is understood to have clipped power lines.

The accident happened in Athea, in the south of the county on land that was planted with forestry.