Protection & Management of our Hedgerows

Hedgerows are essential for maintaining wildlife diversity, supporting species such as badgers, owls, hedgehogs, stoats, blackbirds and innumerable plants, butterflies and other insects. Not only are they an invaluable resource for much of our wildlife they are vital in providing food and shelter for pollinators, cleaning our air, defining our landscape, storing carbon and by holding back the flow of water off land they can alleviate flooding.


Report illegal hedge cutting to the Gardai and NPWS and help protect our wildlife.

Illegal hedgerow cutting is detrimental to Irish wildlife and the IWT is calling for an immediate halt to this destructive practice. Unless for reasons of health and safety, hedge cutting is in breach of the Wildlife Act 1976 (as Amended, 2000), which bans hedge cutting from March 1st to August 31st each year.  We are appealing to the public to report illegal hedge cutting instances to Garda and National Parks and Wildlife Service.  With continued pressure on offenders, we can protect the green veins that support wildlife in our countryside.

National Parks & Wildlife Service Contact List

Local Garda Stations Contact List

Please give as many details as possible.  Photographic or video evidence increases the chances of a successful outcome.  When reporting illegal hedgerow cutting (or any other wildlife crime), please state the following to the relevant authority:

  • Your name
  • Your contact details
  • Location (as specific as possible)
  • Name of the person involved (if known)
  • Vehicle registration number (if applicable)
  • Date and time
  • Was NPWS contacted?
  • Was An Garda Síochána contacted?


Hedgerow Management

Irish Hedgerows are a semi-managed habitat.

Please see this booklet from the All Ireland Pollinator Plan for information on the best practice on hedgerow management. Download hedgerow management booklet

You can find more information on management of hedgerows from the Hedge Laying Association of Ireland


Two very informative articles on illegal hedgerow cutting and hedgerow management in Ireland were published by Noteworthy in 2021. See the links below;

3,000 kilometres cut in three years: Ireland’s hedgerow heritage at risk

‘Whole ditches disappearing overnight’: hedgerows falling foul to larger farms