The Value of hedgerows & how to report cutting
With the advent or monoculture, farming and meadows are largely devoid of flowering plants, hedgerows have
become increasingly important. Not only to pollinators who feed off the flowers, whether it be for nectar or
pollen, but also for our animal wild life who use the hedges for cover and as a corridor between woodland and
It is therefore more important than ever that they be preserved and maintained properly and within the law to
enable birds to nest and rear their young and for the pollinators to forage for food. While it is inevitable that
some of their food will be lost by cutting in September by farmers managing the hedgerows, another loss is the
flowers on hedgerow planting as they usually do not flower on new growth, thus depriving both birds and
pollinators of food the next year.
The following link to Teagasc gives a good overview of why hedgerows are important and the best practices in
Hedgerow cutting of one year’s growth is allowed on the road side all year for our safety however in general cutting is not allowed between 1st March and 31st August. There are some exceptions but as members of the public we are unlikely to know if the farmer has permission or not.
Reporting illegal hedge cutting
The following is a brief outline of how to report illegal hedge cutting and if in doubt it will be of no harm to report any hedge cutting or grubbing out between the months of March and August inclusive as the relevant parties will know if action is required.
You can report the hedge cutting by sending an email containing the details of the location of the hedgerow in question to National Parks and Wildlife Service at the following address.
This will ensure that the details are passed on to the relevant office, some of the offices are not manned full time but the information will get there. Your information will be kept confidential however the local ranger may need to contact you for further details.
What information to send
In short, as much as possible while still being precise. On a field next to a road it may be simple, give the road number, say which side of the road and which direction you are travelling in & the distance from the nearest town should suffice.
If the field is out in the lanes or within other fields it is possible to locate the fields on one of the online mapping systems.
One useful way to locate a field is by using Eircodes and following these steps.
1. Locate you own property using your Eircode on https://finder.eircode.ie/#/ enter your own Eircode and click search.
2. On the next screen click ‘view on map’ and the screen will change to an online map of the country showing your own property. Zoom out slightly and you will see the area increase.
3. As you zoom out more you will have less definition but the larger area will enable you to zoom back in again later and even to a different part of the country. Left click on the mouse and move the map under the cursor until the target is close to the field in question. It is possible to zoom in and then do the first of two things. Locate the farm house of the property if you know which one it is. Find the Eircode to send in by hovering the target over the property and then click on ‘get Eircode’ and then ‘show Eircode’. If you do not know if the property is that of the field owner, then get the Eircode but make it known in the email that the Eircode is for reference only
4. Secondly, once you have a property located this way you can use the ‘Snipping tool’ to get a map of the field location. Left click on ‘view on map’ and again locate the area, as you zoom in you will see more definition and eventually you will be able to see the field boundaries and guide yourself to the field in question. Use the snipping tool to choose the area with as much detail as possible by selecting ‘rectangular’ in the mode and ‘new’ on the main menu and, using the cursor, outline a rectangle containing the area. Once you have done this there are several options. It is possible to highlight the field using the highlight option and also write information on the snip such as the Eircode of the nearest property. This information will enable the recipient to locate the field exactly by using the Eircode and location map.
5. By using cut and paste while using the snip (Ctrl c and then Ctrl v) this section of the map can be used to copy the map onto the email or word document and sent with any other information that is applicable.
See the example at the bottom of this page.
This is only one way of reporting illegal hedge cutting. The main thing is to report it as quickly as possible when it occurs.