Irish Rail and hedgerow removal
Sir, – Intensive agriculture is widely practised in South Tipperary, an area with excellent arable land.
Given the growing pressures on our farmers to make every square inch of soil yield an economic return, there is increasingly less and less marginal ground for our local wildlife to inhabit.
Consequently, they have never been more dependent on our hedgerows for their protection and survival.
In this regard, it is scandalous that Irish Rail, a public body, should be undertaking an extensive programme of hedgerow removal along the Limerick-Waterford railway line just before the nesting season commences.
Not only is this disastrous for our wildlife, and the concrete fencing left in their wake an ugly scar on our landscape, it is also a ridiculous use of public funding for a service that has only four trains running on it six days a week, at an average speed of less than 40 miles per hour!
All of this destruction has been wreaked in the much-abused name of “health and safety”, and landowners who refuse to co-operate in this environmental carnage are threatened with being made fully liable in the event of any accidents occurring along the railway line.
To make matters worse, concrete fences that were functioning perfectly adequately are being destroyed along with the 150-year-old hedgerows.
Surely some other public body, or national statutory agency, should be able to stop the senseless and unnecessary destruction of this habitat? – Yours, etc,