Farmer fined €3,500 for destroying 800m of hedgerow
A farmer in Co Meath was fined €3,500 recently for destroying a hedgerow during the bird nesting season.
The case was taken against Mr Douglas by the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) Conservation Ranger Kieran Buckley against Richard Douglas, a cattle farmer from Rathmoylan, Co Meath.
The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) welcomed the ruling from Judge Gráinne Malone at Navan District Court in which the farmer appeared on a summons relating to the destruction of 800 meters of hedgerows during the bird nesting season.
The farmer pleaded guilty to the offence and admitted that on April 22, 2015, he destroyed hedgerows and part of a woodland during the bird nesting season.
The judge ordered that Mr Douglas pay a total of €3,500 to two wildlife conservation charities - €2,000 to the Butterfly Conservation Ireland and €1,500 to the IWT.
It is believed to be the largest fine imposed for such an offense.
IWT Campaigns Officer Pádraic Fogarty says the ruling emphasises the importance of protecting wildilfe during the breeding season.
“This is a significant fine and will hopefully send the message that regulations on the timing of hedgecutting will be rigorously enforced.”