Hedgecutting ban in place as row rages over new bill
Hedgecutting and upland burning in Ireland is prohibited now until September as debate rages over proposals to shorten the closed seasons.
Currently it is illegal to cut, remove/destroy hedgerows and burn vegetation in our uplands between March 1 and August 31 in order to protect breeding birds.
Rural Minister Heather Humphreys is working to push the 2016 Heritage Bill through the Oireachtas.
Environmentalists say the proposed seasons are times when birds are trying to nest, lay eggs and raise their young. Opposition includes a petition of more than 26,000 signatures.
An Taisce, Birdwatch Ireland, the Hedge Laying Association of Ireland and the Irish Wildlife Trust have joined forces to stop these changes.
Farmers are in favour of the bill. The Irish Farmers' Association lobbied senators last year to ensure its progress.