Mar 02

Press Release: Prohibition on burning vegetation comes into effect on Wednesday (March 1st)

Press Release: Prohibition on burning vegetation comes into effect on Wednesday (March 1st)
The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) is reminding landowners that from Wednesday (March 1st) it is prohibited under the Wildlife Act to burn vegetation for the duration of the bird nesting season (ending August 31st).
Last year the IWT recorded 27 wild fires from the end of March right through to the middle of August, i.e. during the bird nesting season. 15 of these were in areas designated for wildlife conservation. All of these fires were illegal as information received from the National Parks and Wildlife Service show that only one fire in 2016 received the required permission. This year the IWT is once again calling on people to let us know of any wild fires in their area by emailing the date, precise location and, if possible, a photograph to irishwildlife@iwt.ie
Burning vegetation on hills results in appalling destruction of wildlife habitats and is a key factor in the decline of many of our upland birds. Proposals to extend the permitted burning dates in a Heritage Bill, to be presented by Minister Heather Humphreys to the Seanad this week, is an assault on our natural heritage and will do nothing to help farmers in upland areas.
IWT Campaign Officer Pádraic Fogarty says: “The idea of extending the permitted burning dates is a joke considering that nearly all fires are illegal in any case. We need policies that can promote environmental protection in hand with upland farming and which bring an end to the annual bonfire of our hills.”
Over 26,000 people have signed a petition urging politicians to scrap the changes to burning and hedge-cutting dates in the Heritage Bill [1].