Thursday, 26 April 2018
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Hedge Cutting Season
253. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if hedge cutting will be extended to 1 April 2018 in view of later springs and wet autumns; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18522/18]
Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976, as amended, prohibits the cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction of vegetation, with certain strict exemptions, from 1 March to 31 August.
Following a review of Section 40, which involved, inter alia, consideration of submissions from interested parties, proposals were announced in December 2015 to introduce legislation to allow for managed hedge cutting and burning at certain times within the existing closed period on a pilot two year basis. The legislation required to allow for these pilot measures is included in the Heritage Bill 2016, which was published in January 2016.
The Bill has completed its passage through Seanad Éireann and has completed Second Stage in Dail Éireann and is currently at Committee Stage in the Dail.
In the meantime, the existing provisions relating to Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts remain in force.