Hedge and Verge Cutting

Under section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976, incorporating section 46 of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, the times for hedge and verge cutting are set out. In summary, this means that if cutting of hedges and verges is planned, this should be carried out by the end of February and no further cutting should take place until the start of September. Please see excerpt of the Act below for exemptions.

If you require clarification on whether it is appropriate to cut hedges or verges or if you need to report inappropriate cutting, please contact the relevant conservation rangers from the National Parks and Wildlife Service

  • Offaly North East: Colm Malone (057) 9331470,
  • West Offaly: Noel Bugler (057) 9122512.
  • Slieve Blooms: Jason Monaghan (045) 520671

Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976, incorporating section 46 of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000
(a) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy, during the period beginning on the 1st day of March and ending on the 31st day of August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.

(b) It shall be an offence for a person to cut grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch during the period mentioned in paragraph (a ) of this subsection.
(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply in relation to – (a) the destroying, in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry, of any vegetation growing on or in any hedge or ditch;
(b) the cutting or grubbing of isolated bushes or clumps or gorse, furze or the mowing of isolated growths or fern in the ordinary course of agriculture.

c) The cutting, grubbing or destroying of vegetation in the course of any works being duly carried out for reasons of public health or safety by a Minister or the Government or a body established or regulated by or under a statute.
(cc) the clearance of vegetation in the course of fisheries development works carried out by the Central Fisheries Board or a regional fisheries board in the exercise of its functions under the Fisheries Acts, 1959 to 1999;

(d) the destroying of any noxious week to which the Noxious Weeds Act 1936, applies

(e) the clearance of vegetation in the course of road or other construction works or in the development or preparation of sites on which any building or other structure is intended to be provided.

(f) The removal or destruction of vegetation required by a notice served by the Minister under section 62(1) of the Act of 1946 to be removed or destroyed;

Download the Heritage Council Guidelines on hedgerow management