Sea buckthorn has no place in a hedge

 

Sir, – I was pleased to see the headline “Give me shelter – how to grow a native Irish hedge” (December 30th) but despaired when I saw the suggestion in it to plant sea buckthorn and that it is actually being sold within Ireland. Both actions are prohibited under national legislation, the European Union (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 to 2015, because this is an invasive non-native species of plant. It can alter soils, affect groundwater tables and displaces many native plants. Please advise your readers to abide by the law and to not plant sea buckthorn and to report to the National Parks and Wildlife Services if anyone is selling it. If they observe it growing anywhere in Ireland, they should report it to the National Biodiversity Data Centre through its website. Having prepared Dublin City Council’s Invasive Alien Species Action Plan (2016), I would advise readers that this plant is very difficult and costly to eradicate and dispose of. Local authorities, including Dublin City Council, and landowners have been working very hard to control it for several years. There are many wonderful native Irish plants which we can plant instead. – Yours, etc,

MARYANN HARRIS,

Malahide,

Co Dublin.