Minister warns developers to avoid hedgerows in summer

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley has moved to remind developers of their responsibility towards hedgerows and vegetation on uncultivated land.

Under the Wildlife Act 1976 and the Wildlife Amendment Act 2000, developers and any other entity that may be involved are banned from damaging hedges or other vegetation between March 1st and August 31st.

This is to protect wildlife such as birds during the nesting and breeding season and Mr Gormley explained that there were a number of cases of prosecution last year for breaches of these conditions.

“In Ireland, given the low cover of native woodland, hedgerows are of exceptional importance in providing habitats and corridors for maintaining wildlife diversity, particularly for birds, but also for wild plants and other ecologically important organisms that provide food and shelter for birds,” he said.

Mr Gormley added that his department had recently issued a warning to local authorities, public bodies and developers that carrying out work on hedgerows before August 31st would not be tolerated.

He suggested that even public bodies would be prosecuted for going against the legislation and any cases brought to his department’s attention would be fully investigated.

According to the Birds of Ireland News Service the country’s populations of declining species like Roseate Tern and Corncrake make Ireland one of the “most exciting birding destinations in Europe”.

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