Irish Hedgerow Destruction

Everytime you see a severed stump, or more commonly a row of severed stumps like this – imagine the lovely flowering trees that once stood there and ask yourself who could do such a thing and more importantly why.

Badly cut hedge
Badly cut hedge

Hedges like these are not the exception  in this country – they are the rule and when you consider the number of trees subjected to this abuse it’s no wonder we’ve got a biodiversity meltdown!

And why on earth was this tree cut? It’s the only one left!

The last tree in the hedge

Look at this brutal mess.

Massacred Hedge
Massacred Hedge

If mature trees are decapitatated then cut to the knuckle year after year they cannot flower and they cannot fruit. No flowers and no fruit means no pollinators and no birds. It’s very simple isn’t it?

Furthermore – this annual savagery slowly kills the hedge as the height is reduced year after year and those poor shredded stumps cannot heal properly so fungal diseases get in leading to rot and death. Eventually you are left with a gappy  hedge consisting of elder and grass. Lovely.

Hedges need to be at least 2 metres tall or birds can’t nest in them.  If they are too low to the ground,  predators can reach into the nests and take the young.  They also need cover above the nest or crows will walk along that lovely flat top and take the eggs or the young birds.

If a hedge is encroaching onto a road then lightly trim the sides there’s no need to cut the bloody top off.

Let’s not forget that hedges are carbon sinks but only if you let them grow. The taller they get the more water they will use so there will be less waterlogging and less soil washed into the rivers. The list of benefits is very long and I’ve hardly started.

A couple of links here for further reading:

Bee Trees – Hawthorn

https://www.thejournal.ie/shear-force-article-2-5358956-Feb2021/

https://www.noteworthy.ie/nw-shear-force-pt1-5359014-Feb2021

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