As of 1 September, it is legal to burn vegetation and to start hedgecutting. The Heritage Bill 2016 is not yet in place, meaning it is still illegal to start hedgecutting between 1 March and 31 August.

In the proposed Heritage Bill 2016, the periods for hedgecutting and burning of hill vegetation were to be extended by one month on a trial basis to make land management more practical.

Following the dissolution of the Dáil before the general election this year, however, these provisions were never passed.

Under the two-year pilot measure, hedgecutting was to be given the green light one month earlier in 2016, on 1 August. The season for burning of hill scrub was also to be extended to include March.

Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976 restricts the cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction by other means of vegetation growing on uncultivated land or in hedges or ditches during the nesting and breeding season for birds and wildlife from 1 March to 31 August.

Read more

Hedgecutter safety on the farm

Public conversation needed on the burning issue – Wicklow Uplands Council