Thursday, 12 December 2019

Ceisteanna (34)

Joan Burton


34. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to promote the protection of hedgerows during the upcoming hedgerow maintenance period to ensure they are maintained in terms of their biodiversity; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52066/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976, as amended, prohibits the cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction of vegetation, with certain strict exemptions, from 1 March to 31 August.

There is provision in the legislation for some restricted exemptions from the prohibition during the closed period, for example, for works undertaken in the ordinary course or agriculture or forestry, for health and safety reasons, the destruction of noxious weeds, during works permitted under statute and for works undertaken for road safety reasons under Section 70 of the Roads Act 1983.

Ireland’s National Biodiversity Plan 2017-2021 recognises that hedgerows provide important habitats for a variety of species and there is a commitment in the Plan that hedgerow surveys will be continued by local authorities. My Department will continue to remind local authorities of the need to ensure that the scheduling and carrying out of necessary work to maintain hedgerows and vegetation growing on roadside banks and ditches should be completed outside the nesting season.