Clare County Council is calling on landowners to cut their hedgerows before the 1st March deadline to ensure they are not causing a potentially serious road safety hazard.
Overgrown hedgerows and roadside verges can result in road fatalities and serious injury collisions. Properly maintained hedges also protect vulnerable road users who are not forced onto the road by overgrown hedges. It additionally affords motorists a clear view of what is in front of them, and is essential on local rural roads to provide sightlines at junctions and to ensure there are no obstructions to road signs.
Landowners should be aware that Section 70 of the Roads Act 1993 places responsibility for the maintenance of roadside hedgerows on the owners or occupiers of the adjoining lands.
However, in accordance with the Wildlife Act, it is an offence to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy vegetation such as hedgerows, between 1st March and 31st August. There are some exceptions to this, including if there are grounds to act for road safety reasons.
Financial assistance can be given by Clare County Council, through the Community Hedgecutting Scheme, to communities and groups that undertake works to maintain hedgerows, and will assist them in complying with their responsibilities under Section 70 of the Roads Act, 1993.
Members of the public can contact the Transportation Department, Clare County Council, for further information by email or by calling 065-6846333.