The Heritage Act threatens to burn our countryside’s future – help us stop the destruction!
On the 4th of July 2018 the government passed the Heritage Bill 2016 through the Oireachtas. This is a destructive piece of legislation which will cause great harm to our wildlife and our natural environment. This Bill will extend the legal period for uplands burning and hedgecutting into the nesting season of many birds. This will threaten many already endangered species.
Nature under fire
In passing this legislation, the government ignored the advice and opposition of the Irish Wildlife Trust, An Taisce, the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations and the Hedgelaying Association of Ireland. All of these organisations raised concerns regarding the impact this legislation would have on biodiversity and habitats.
- The yellowhammer
The Yellowhammer is a stunning species, appearing unlike any other Irish bird. Males are a beautiful yellow colour on the head and underparts. Adult females are much darker, with extensive black markings on the head and obvious black streaking on the breast.
Ireland’s population of Yellowhammers has fallen by 90% in last 25 years and the species is red-listed due to its decline. As they nest during the month of August, many of their nests and chicks would be destroyed by the extension of the hedge cutting season.
- The curlew
The curlew is a distinctive wading bird. It is easily identified by its slender, curved bill. Its colour is a uniform greyish brown, with bold dark streaking all over. It has an unmistakable ascending whistle.
The Curlew population has declined by 80% in the last 40 years. There are now only 120 Curlew breeding pairs left in Ireland. The proposed extension of uplands burning into March could wipe out the species in Ireland by disrupting its nesting activities and preventing the population from recovering.
What can I do?
Sign the petition organised by groups opposed to this environmental destruction.
Contact the Minster for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to let her know you are opposed to this legislation.