Review on hedgecutting dates due ‘within the next fortnight’
The review findings of the working group on hedgecutting dates and gorse burning are to be published shortly, according to the Minister Heather Humpherys.
According to the IFA, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht gave a commitment to the IFA at a recent meeting with the lobby group that the review would be published within a fortnight.
Currently section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976 to 2012 prohibits the cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction of vegetation, with certain strict exemptions, from March 1 to August 31 during the nesting and breeding season for birds and wildlife.
The IFA has called for a change to the gorse burning date to the middle of April and a narrowing of the hedge cutting prohibition period from April 1 to August 31.
A recent Agriland poll found that 73% of readers believe that the hedgecutting ban timeframe from March 1 to August 31 should be shortened.
Some 188 submissions were made to the working group set up to review the hedgecutting dates.
A Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht spokesperson told Agriland that the “Minister is expected to make an announcement on its findings shortly“.
This is following consideration of the work of the working group, the submissions received in the public consultation and other relevant matters, the spokesperson said.
The hedgecutting season runs from September 1 up until the March 1, as birds are still nesting during August.