The hedge cutting season has now ended. From 1 March 2021 until 1 September 2021 it is an offence to cut hedgerows under Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976 as amended by the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 and the Heritage Act 2018.
In Ireland, where there is a low cover of native woodland, hedges are of exceptional importance in providing habitats and corridors for maintaining wildlife diversity, particularly for birds, but also for wild plants and other ecologically important organisms that provide food and shelter for birds. Wrens, dunnocks, robins, thrushes and willow warblers as well as rarer species depend greatly on hedgerow habitats.
In general, untrimmed, thorned hedgerows containing shrubs such as blackthorn, whitethorn, holly, briars and brambles are favoured by birds as they provide protection from predators. Many of Ireland's breeding birds are originally woodland birds and especially in areas of low woodland cover these birds are dependent on hedgerows.