The Heritage Bill will allow farmers to manage their land in a more effective way, the chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Rural Affairs and Community Development has said.
Fine Gael TD for Clare, Joe Carey, said the Bill contains measures to allow for the controlled burning of vegetation under strict regulation in the month of March on a pilot basis for a two year period.
The Bill also allows for the managed cutting of roadside hedges under strict regulation in August, again for a two year pilot period.
Deputy Carey said: “It is vital that farmers are permitted to manage their land in a more effective way.
“Allowing for managed cutting of roadside hedges under strict regulation is a sensible, common sense move. If a person is driving a tractor out of a field, he or she needs a clear view before it moves to the road.
“The Bill allows for this on a trial basis and only after strict regulatory processes have been followed.”
Deputy Carey also rejected the claims that extending the season would pose a potential threat to the environment.
“It is simply untrue to suggest that a two year pilot of managed roadside hedge cutting to align the Wildlife Acts with the Road Traffic Acts would result in the wholesale destruction of the environment as some have suggested.
“These are measured approaches that are being brought forward following public consultation and stakeholder engagement.”