Sir, – Minister for Heritage Josepha Madigan has made a sane decision on bird nesting and the cutting times of our hedges (“Plans to allow limited roadside hedge cutting scrapped”, News, July 16th). It is a small move but still good and welcome news, and I feel I will not be alone in thanking her for that. However, the greater problem is simply hedge cutting itself. It is unnecessary. Hedges do not grow invasively and claim land, and we have lived with their growth pattern for centuries without problems. Indeed their natural form lent our land the look it was famous for. Hedges provided for about 70 per cent of our biodiversity, its habitat, and food supply. They provide for water retention, shade, shelter, and carbon capture. Flailing is against the guidelines of the original Rural Environment Protection Scheme (Reps). Flails leave the mangled stumps open to pathogen attack. So please, politicians, follow up on this decision and end hedge cutting now. – Yours, etc,
Raheny, Dublin 5.