Disappearing Hedgerows

According to the Dept. of Agriculture, hedges in NI may be trimmed or coppiced from 1 September until the end of February, but from 1 March to 31 August, hedge cutting or coppicing is not permitted under Single Farm Payment Cross-Compliance requirements.  This is to protect nesting birds from disturbance. All wild birds, their nests, young and eggs are protected under law and it is an offence to damage a nest intentionally while it is in use or being built. However many of us will have noticed incidents where hedges have been removed or paired back leaving little habitat for wildlife. Stephen Scarlett has sent us in this photograph from a farm in Fermanagh where the hedgerow is certainly not held in any importance:

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