At Last A Call To Protect Ireland’s Hedgerows.

Upwards of 3,000km of Ireland’s hedgerows are removed each year, and now at last a group of stakeholders including the ‘Irish Wildlife Trust’, the ‘Federation of Irish Beekeepers’, and ‘Hedgerows Ireland’, have come together; calling on the Irish State to protect this richest of ecosystem.

We, residing in Thules, have watched helplessly as almost 2.4 kilometres of Hedgerow in the past 20 months was removed in the town, during the nesting season, with local Municipal District councillors highlighting such removals on social media, in an effort to give the impression that they are hard at work benefiting their electorate.

Despite every effort to call a halt to this wanton destruction, our best exertions fell upon deaf ears both locally; at the National Parks and Wildlife Service and at government Ministerial level, [exempli gratia, Ministers Mr Malcolm Noonan and Minister Mr Eamon Ryan.]

We have watched helplessly the removal of a 150 meters long, 50 year old mature Whitethorn hedgerow, situated east of Lidl supermarket, in the recently constructed new town centre area; the destruction at the walkway on ‘Lady’s well’; and the now totally destroyed historic “Great Famine Double Ditch” at Mill Road, in the town.

Members representing ‘Hedgerows Ireland’, latter a non-profit organization formed to protect against hedgerow removals, has now rightly claimed that such continuing removals could change the Irish landscape, beyond all current recognition.

It is no secret that Ireland’s hedgerows host a rich ecosystem, acting as Irelands rain forestwithin which some two third of our native birds use to roost, nest and feed.

Currently, to our shame and the shame of our present collision government; Irish current rules regarding any hedge removal, facilitate the eradication of half a kilometre (.62mls) of hedgerow, without any environmental assessment or scrutiny.
Some 95% of all applications for hedgerow removal are approved, thus eradicating a huge pollinator and wildlife reservoir, not to mention an area supporting massive carbon storage.

Sadly, their calls; to quote a line from William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, will be “More honoured in the breach than the observance.”


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