Hedgerows and farmers

 

Sir, – Further to Alan Moore’s letter (October 12th), the public should no longer expect our farmers to carry the cost of providing all the public function benefits of hedgerows without recompense or reward. Unfortunately, the intensive food production model driven by Teagasc has led to an indifference towards hedgerows among many of our farmers and landowners, best summarised as “Doesn’t pay, take it away”. In this light, our Hedgerows Ireland group sees the Common Agricultural Policy 2023-2027(CAP) as an unprecedented opportunity to treat our native hedgerow system as an asset rather than a hindrance. Rewarding landowners, directly and transparently, for the quality of their hedgerows, can be transformative if the Department of Agriculture selects hedgerow conservation for a results-based agri-environmental scheme. It is our view that the necessary change in our management of hedgerows should be primarily driven by CAP reform rather than a “zero tolerance” policy from the National Parks and Wildlife Service. – Yours, etc,

PJ O’MEARA,

Hedgerows Ireland

Group,

Newtownadam,

Cahir,

Co Tipperary.