Restrictions on Burning and Hedgecutting

Date Released: Friday, March 1, 2019

Restrictions on the destruction of hedges and the destruction of vegetation on uncultivated land from 1 March to 31 August 2019

Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 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.

The Heritage Act 2018 includes provisions for managed hedge cutting and burning at certain times within the existing closed period on a pilot two year basis. Section 7(1) of  the Heritage Act provides that the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage may make Regulations to allow the burning of vegetation during such periods in the month of March and in such parts of the State as specified in the Regulations. The Minister has decided that no Regulations will be made to extend the season for the burning of vegetation in to March 2019. Accordingly, the current restrictions under Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts which are set out above will apply. 

These restrictions apply not only to private land-users but also to local authorities, public bodies and to contractors. Although there are limited exemptions to the above restrictions, e.g. where they are executed for public health and safety reasons it is nevertheless this Department's policy to investigate where the appears to have been a breach of the law.

The assistance of the public is sought in bringing to attention any alleged unlawful cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction, by  reporting details to the Gardaí or to the local Conservation Rangers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service. See the contact us page for information about how to contact NPWS.

See the Irish Law page for information on the provisions of the Wildlife Acts in relation to Section 40 including the relevant exemptions.