The cutting of roadside hedges is set to remain prohibited next month, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has confirmed.
Earlier this month, the Heritage Bill passed through both houses of the Oireachtas for the final time and it was sent to the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, to be signed so it could be passed into law.
However, in a statement released today (Friday, July 27), the department said: “The general provisions of the Heritage Act 2018 in relation to the introduction of a two-year pilot period whereby roadside hedges may be cut during August .
Consolidated Version of the Wildlife Acts
SECTION 40 of the WILDLIFE ACT 1976 AS AMENDED by the WILDLIFE (AMENDMENT) ACT 2000
Destruction of vegetation on uncultivated land restricted
40(1) (a) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy during the period beginning on the 1st day of March and ending on the 31st day of August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.
It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch during the period mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection.
(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply in relation to
(a) the destroying, in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry, of any vegetation growing on or in any hedge or ditch;
(b) the cutting or grubbing of isolated bushes or clumps of gorse, furze or whin or the mowing of isolated growths of fern in the ordinary course of agriculture;
(c) the cutting, grubbing or destroying of vegetation in the course of any works being duly carried out for reasons of public health or safety by a Minister of the Government or a body established or regulated by or under a statute;
(cc) the clearance of vegetation in the course of fisheries development works carried out by the Central Fisheries Board or a regional fisheries board in the exercise of its functions under the Fisheries Acts, 1959 to 1999;
(d) the destroying of any noxious weed to which the Noxious Weeds Act, 1936, applies;
(e) the clearance of vegetation in the course of road or other construction works or in the development or preparation of sites on which any building or other structure is intended to be provided;
(f) the removal or destruction of vegetation required by a notice served by the Minister under section 62 (1) of the Act of 1946 to be removed or destroyed;
but this subsection shall not operate to exclude from subsection (1) of this section anything done by burning.
(3) The Minister may request from the person concerned details of any works carried out under subsection (2)(c) and such details shall be furnished to the Minister by that person together with a statement of the public health or safety factors involved.
(4) In any proceedings taken in respect of a contravention of this section consisting of the doing of any act, it shall be a good defence to prove that the doing of that act was necessary for the purpose of extinguishing or preventing the spread of a fire while it was in progress or for the purpose of saving human life or was necessary in any other emergency in respect of which that act was an appropriate measure.
- Tags: Hedge cutting