IFA Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman, Harold Kingston, has called on Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys T.D. to ensure the current review of hedge cutting dates delivers a shorter closed season.
Mr. Kingston said, “IFA welcomes the initiative taken by Minister Humphreys to review the hedge cutting dates. However, it is over four months since submissions were made by all stakeholders and the Minister must now make decisions so farmers can plan their work schedule for this coming hedge cutting season.”
He added, “There is a real basis for a shorter closed period, as the nesting season now occurs earlier, which should lead to hedge cutting being permitted from August 1st onwards. Planning is essential during August as it is a busy month for farmers, with harvesting and other activities. It is also a peak time for tourism. The earlier opening date would allow farmers more time to ensure roads are cleared of overhanging growth, making them safer for both locals and visitors”.