The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has urged senators to vote for proposed amendments to the Heritage Bill that will see the removal of provisions to revise hedgecutting and burning dates allowed in Ireland when it passes through the Seanad on Wednesday this week.

Hedgecutting and burning dates will be extended under the proposed Heritage Bill put forward by the Government.

The amendments to the bill, which have been put forward by the Green Party along with Independents and Labour senators, will remove what the IWT describes as “needless changes” to the dates during which hedgecutting and burning of upland vegetation can take place.

“It is unclear why changes to hedgecutting and burning dates are needed, while it is very clear that if the changes go ahead, we will see major impacts to our wildlife,” said Pádraic Fogarty, a campaign officer with IWT.

“Already, we have seen massive declines in the populations of farmland birds and pollinating insects. If anything, we need laws that will reverse these declines, not make them worse,” he added.

As of Monday, the IWT says 25,000 people have signed a petition resisting more slash and burn techniques in the Irish countryside.

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