The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has warned that "the general provisions of the Heritage Act 2018 in relation to the introduction of a two-year pilot period whereby roadside hedges may be cut during August will not be in force in 2018".

The Oireachtas passed the legislation earlier this month, but it has yet to be signed by the President and entered into the Statute Book.

The Heritage Act states that the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht "may make regulations, in relation to land referred to in that section, to allow the cutting of vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch on the roadside during the month of August".

"These regulations cannot be made this year," the NPWS has warned. As a result, hedge-cutting remains banned this August except in cases of immediate road safety hazards.

The Heritage Act also allows the Minister to make regulations allowing the burning of vegetation in specific areas in March.

The Minister may make those regulations each year for two years on a pilot basis. Any extension must be approved by a vote of the Oireachtas.

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