26/11/2014 : Minister Humphreys announces public consultation process on burning and hedgecutting controls
Wednesday, 26th 2014—The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has today launched a public consultation process in relation to potential changes to Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, which governs burning and cutting of hedgerows.
The main purposes of Section 40 are to protect bird life during the nesting season, to prevent forest fires, and to protect vegetation and wildlife habitats during the months of growth and reproduction. The Minister is seeking the views of the public and interested parties with a view to ensuring the on-going effectiveness of the controls.
Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:
“Landowners have suggested that the closed period for burning and cutting, which runs from 1 March and 31 August, is too inflexible and that it should be amended to take account of land management issues.
“This review, being initiated by my Department, aims to ensure that the most mutually-beneficial system is in place, while ensuring the protection of biodiversity.
“The public consultation process, which I am launching today, will provide stakeholders with an opportunity to input their views on the operation of these controls. I would encourage interested parties to make a submission and all views will be considered as part of any potential changes to the controls.”
Notes for the Editor:
This consultation document can be found online at: http://www.npws.ie/legislationandconventions/Public%20Consultation%20Section%2040.pdf
Submissions and comments are invited, on or before Friday, 9th January 2015.
The main purposes of Section 40 are to protect bird life during the nesting season, to prevent forest fires, and to protect vegetation and wildlife habitats during the months of growth and reproduction.
A closed period between 1 March and 31 August is set out in the legislation, during which a prohibition is in place on the destruction of any vegetation on ‘land not then cultivated’ and of any vegetation growing in a ditch or hedge.
There are limited exemptions to this, for example, for health and safety reasons, the destruction of noxious weeds, during works permitted under statute etc.