Clare County Council is inviting applications to an innovative scheme to facilitate landowners and community groups in maintaining hedgerows throughout County Clare.
The Community Hedge Cutting Grant Scheme, which was the first of its kind to be developed in Ireland when it was piloted in 2013, will see €10,000 being provided to deal with the local road network over the autumn and winter seasons.
Applications are being invited from communities and groups before 31st October 2018. Each application will be assessed and a grant of €50 per km of hedgerow will be paid, subject to certain conditions and available resources.
Clare County Council says the scheme will provide financial assistance to communities and groups that undertake hedgecutting and the cutting of overhanging trees, and will assist landowners in complying with their responsibilities under Section 70 of the Roads Act, 1993.
Mayor of Clare, Councillor Michael Begley, expressed his confidence that the scheme, complemented by Clare County Council’s ongoing hedge cutting programme, “will be of benefit in dealing effectively with the issue.”
John Corry, Administrative Officer, Transportation, Clare County Council, commented, “Our objective is that by the start of the nesting season in March 2019, much of the worst affected local roads in the County will be significantly enhanced in their capacity to accommodate the traffic that uses them.”
“The Roads Act, 1993 stipulates that all growth emanating from any part of the roadside boundary structure or from within the land protected by same is the responsibility of the landowner,” stated Mr. Corry. “From a road safety point of view, it is important that this responsibility is acknowledged and embraced by roadside landowners and the Community Hedge Cutting Grant Scheme is intended to provide support in this context to offset some of the costs associated with hedgecutting.”
Application forms are available online via www.clarecoco.ie, and from Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis.