The Department of Agriculture has reminded farmers of the negative consequences of burning land illegally.

If you burn land after 1 March, such land is not eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes. There is also a risk of prosecution.

Illegal burning can also render the land of a neighbour ineligible for payment, and where it is identified that lands were burnt during the closed season, this may result in such land being inspected by Department officials.

The Department also reminds farmers that the hedge cutting season is now closed and will remain so until the 31 August.

Mindful of fires

The Department has activated its Fire Danger Rating System for the season and advises that forest owners and managers should check and update fire plans and other relevant contingencies such as insurance, firebreaks and water points.

Both farmers and the wider public are advised to be mindful of the damage caused by burning.

The Department asks all countryside users to be vigilant, to report any suspicious activity to An Garda Síochána, and to report any uncontrolled or unattended fires immediately to the Fire and Emergency Services via 112/999 service.

The Department forest fire warning level can be found here.