BIRDWATCH IRELAND eWINGS
Ireland’s hedgerows don’t get the respect that they deserve. One of our most important wildlife habitats, not to mention a stunning visual feature of our countryside, for many foreign visitors they are THE defining feature of the Irish landscape. Shamefully, despite this, they are all too often hacked and/or burned during the summer months. The consequences for nesting birds are clear to see, but perhaps less obvious is the effect on Ireland’s dwindling insect-life: the very same insects upon which we depend for the pollination of our crops and wildflowers.
Under the Wildlife Acts 1976-2010, hedge-cutting and scrub-burning is banned from 1st March to 31st August each year. However, a quick walk or drive almost anywhere in Ireland during the summer months reveals that this law is very poorly enforced indeed, and is all too often completely ignored.
This summer, BirdWatch Ireland is aiming to keep track of as much illegal hedgerow destruction as possible. We would ask our eWings readers to please notify us of any suspected illegal destruction of hedgerows or scrub by emailing the details (including the location and, if possible, some photographs) to us at email@example.com.
We also want to help showcase the beauty of Ireland’s hedgerows. Continue reading