Hedges and ditches

 

Sir, – I agree completely with your two letter-writers (June 8th) when they advocate rewilding road margins and motorway median strips but I would also like to put in a word for our hedges and ditches.

When a new house is being built on the outskirts of our towns and villages the default is to bulldoze away the old grassy banks or hedgerows and erect a wall instead. These old boundaries, with all their natural diversity, have grown and matured over many years. Sometimes the replacement walls are beautifully made but more often they consist of some type of composite stone or brick. In any case the result is loss of habitats for all sorts of small animals and insects and the loss of precious greenery. Some few people do choose to retain the old hedges but unfortunately this is a rarity. Some few also erect loose stone walls with plants growing in the gaps and this is visually pleasing and keeps the connection with nature, but I still think the best option is to retain the original boundary.

I would like the retention of this very important part of our heritage to be a condition when granting planning permission for the erection of new houses. – Yours, etc,

EITHNE O’CALLAGHAN,

Ballsbridge,

Dublin 4 .