A Thurles-based eco group has urged landowners to consider the implications of removing hedges and ditches from their land.
There is a debate going on nationally and in the Oireachtas on hedge cutting and whether or not to extend the time frame for carrying out the work, with some arguing that cutting too early can have an impact on wildlife.
“Hedgerows provide food, shelter, roosting places and homes for insects, mammals and birds. Hedgerows are probably the only real wildlife habitats left on the modern farm,” Tom Gallagher of Thurles eco spirituality group told the Tipperary Star.
He stated that they have many advantages, providing shelter for animals from the rain, wind and sun.
Herbs that grow along the verges of hedgerows enrich the diet of the farm animals providing much needed trace elements and nutrients. Hedges also prevent the spread of disease by keeping herds apart.
If hedges are cut on a 10-year cycle they provide fuel for the farmer. Hawthorn is the most common tree in hedges and gives excellent firewood. Allowing hedges to grow high is a win-win for farmers and nature. It makes common sense to protect these unique features of the landscape, he said.