To: Local authorities, Eamon Ryan, Malcolm Noonan, IFA, An bord pleanala

Save Hedgerow Trees

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Dear Minister Eamon Ryan,

Our hedgerows are losing their taller tree species at an alarming rate across the country. Farmers are increasingly opting for shorter uniform hedgerows devoid of trees. Local authorities are removing trees along roadways unchecked for fear of litigation. Planning authorities are insisting that trees be removed from hedgerows at sites where new homes are being built, and homeowners are allowed to remove whatever trees they wish. Current legislation is clearly not fit for purpose when it comes to protecting our existing trees, and what legislation there is is not being enforced. If the current rate of deforestation is allowed to continue, and Ash die-back also continues apace, this country will be a tree-less green desert, save for the Sitka forests, within the decade. An urgent call to action is needed. No citizen or local authority should have the right to remove any trees from the land without a compelling reason and where no alternative is found. The current lack of consideration for our dwindling existing tree stock is scandalous, particularly in an age of such apparent climate change and terrifying rates of biodiversity loss globally. Decisive and urgent action is paramount.

Why is this important?

If we don't speak out, nothing will change. The Earth is now on a trajectory towards total ecosystem collapse. How far along that trajectory it goes depends on us, on the actions we take. Ireland is failing miserably at cutting it's carbon emissions and protecting its environment. It beggars belief that that the native tree stocks in our hedgerows are not currently being safeguarded, and are allowed to be decimated at a such a rate. It's time to take a stand, join me.