A petition has been launched against the proposal to change the Wildlife Act to allow for the burning of vegetation in March and hedgecutting in August.
A petitioned called ‘No to more slash and burn’ has been created by An Taisce, Birdwatch Ireland, the Hedgelayers Association of Ireland and the Irish Wildlife Trust.
The groups are asking the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, Heather Humpherys, to instead establish proper hedgerow and upland management regimes that works for farming, road safety and wildlife.
They are challenging the Minister’s decision on the grounds of the serious impact it will have on a range of wildlife species and habitats in Ireland – especially highly-threatened nesting birds and pollinators found in our hedgerows and uplands.
The groups are asking people to add their name to the petition to halt this Bill and save Irish wildlife.
Our hedgerows and upland habitats need proper management, though, according to the campaigners and landowners and farmers must be supported to manage them in a way that works for farming, road safety and wildlife.
The groups have stated that the change to the hedgecutting dates will lead to further declines in populations of Red-listed Yellowhammer, Linnet and Greenfinch birds and reduce essential food supplies for pollinators, of which a third are threatened with extinction.
They also say that by allowing burning of the uplands into March, nesting activities of sensitive upland ground-nesting birds will be affected along with the breeding success of these populations, according to the groups.
At the time of writing, the petition had over 3,000 signatures.