Take five minutes to protect wildlife – Tell your Senator not to allow any more Slash and Burn

Published by Ian Carey on

November 4th  2016

Ireland’s wildlife is under threat from a proposed law making its way through the Oireachtas right now.

It will extend the time allowed to cut hedges and burn scrub. Much of Ireland’s biodiversity rely on hedges and scrub to survive and it will have a damaging impact on Ireland’s already falling bird and mammal numbers.

The proposal is poorly thought out with no consideration for the impact on wildlife.

This week Ireland’s senators get to vote on the proposals.

BirdWatch Ireland are calling on everyone who sees the value of nature to contact some Senators and ask them to vote against the bill.

Here is their appeal:

Dear Nature Lover:

Can you get your pen and paper out please? Ireland’s wildlife urgently needs your help.

Next Wednesday, November 9th Senators will debate and vote on proposed changes to the law protecting nesting birds in Ireland in Seanad Eireann. These changes would allow hedge cutting (and removal) in August and more burning in the mountains/uplands in March. Both months are very important for nesting birds and lots of other wildlife, so these changes will have a very damaging impact. The existing law protects these habitats for 6 months so birds can complete their nesting cycle. The changes would reduce this to 5 months.

Our ask of you is to write (see how to below) to Senators and : YOU MUST SEND THIS LETTER/EMAIL THIS WEEKEND FOR IT TO GET TO THEM BY WEDNESDAY.

  1. Tell them how important our birds, wildlife, hedgerows, mountains or countryside are to you and that you are against the proposed changes to the Wildlife Act contained in Section 8 of the Heritage Bill.
  2. ASK them to please to remove Section 8 of the Heritage Bill.
  3. Tell them that 23500 people have said No to More Slash and Burn.
  4. Rather than weakening our Wildlife laws, the Heritage Bill should seek to collect Irish scientific data on bird nesting periods in order to inform any changes to the laws protecting birds.
  5. Ask the senators to speak up for your views during the Seanad debate.


A few points to remember:

  • A hand-written letter has greater impact than an email but do what you can!
  • Please personalise your letter/email– this can make a powerful statement
  • Here is the list of senators and email +  snail mail address is: Senator Name, Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Dublin 2
  • Here is a link to the BirdWatch Ireland webpage on this subject
  • Here is a link to the petition which we will hand over to the Minister.
  • Senators don’t work at constituency level like TDs, but some have stronger links to local areas.

Please get in touch if you have any questions and :

Thank you for your support!

Best regards,

Oonagh Duggan

Acting Head of Policy, Communications and People Engagement

BirdWatch Ireland


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Ian Carey

Ian is the editor of the Green News. He works as Communications Manger with the Irish Environmental Network.