Out-of-season hedge-cutting in the area has been reported to The Avondhu, along a section of the old Cork-Dublin Road from Fermoy to Mitchelstown.
A Heritage Bill passed through the Dáil in 2018, allows in 2019 for the burning of vegetation in March and hedge-cutting in August under a pilot project which will encompass the entire country.
Previously, the hedge cutting season was from 1st September to 28th February inclusive.
Unless such cutting was subject to a section 70 notice, it would be illegal and prosecutable.
Landowners and occupiers of land are obliged under Section 70 of the Roads Act 1993, to take all reasonable steps to ensure that trees, shrubs, hedges and other vegetation on their lands abutting the public roadway, are not a hazard to persons using the public road or footpath and that it does not obstruct or interfere with the safe use of a public road or the maintenance of a public road.
The motorist who encountered the hedge cutting late last week while travelling the road, reported the incident to the gardai.
They were ‘shocked’ to see that cutting was being undertaken in the middle of April, along a stretch of hedging parallel to the main road.
DISASTROUS FOR WILDLIFE
Highlighting a similar incident along the same stretch of roadway in July 2018, Birdwatch Ireland's regional spokesman Paul Moore, informed The Avondhu that early cutting was disastrous for bird species that may be especially drawn to hedgerows bordering a road due to the low instance of pesticides and fertilisers.
They were appealing to farmers to cut over the autumn and winter months to give maximum scope for nesting season.
The body responsible for enforcing the law are the Parks and Wildlife Service.