DEAR EDITOR: Why are farmers expected to carry all the responsibility for habitat and biodiversity restoration? I have six small fields with hedges around each of them with over 50 trees in the hedges and the orchard.

Then I go into my local town, Tullamore, and what do I see – tarmac, cement, concrete, paving stones and buildings built with stones, concrete blocks and bricks. All these man-made structures cover soil that can no longer sequestrate carbon.

All the natural vegetation, be it grass, hedges, trees, or scrub are gone. Birds and animals that made them their home are gone. Where is the onus to restore biodiversity here? When will every housing development and apartment block be required to have at least one tree for every dwelling or commercial unit, and every garden be required to have one hedge, be it a small box hedge or a larger one, with native species?

The gardens should have flowers or flowering shrubs to encourage pollinators. And what about road projects? If hedges are removed to widen a road or build a new one, does Transport Infrastructure Ireland have to plant the equivalent distance in new hedges like I would have to do if I removed a hedge on my farm? It’s about time we got some fairness into restoring habitat and biodiversity instead of deepening the rural-urban split.