Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has welcomed a new scheme introduced by Clare County Council to help landowners and community groups maintain hedgerows throughout the county.
The Community Hedge Cutting Grant Scheme, which was the first of its kind to be developed in Ireland when it was piloted in 2013, will see €10,000 being provided to deal with the local road network over the autumn and winter seasons.
Applications are being invited from communities and groups before October 31. Each application will be assessed and a grant of €50 per km of hedgerow will be paid, subject to certain conditions and available resources.
Clare County Council says the scheme will provide financial assistance to communities and groups that undertake hedgecutting and the cutting of overhanging trees, and will assist landowners in complying with their responsibilities under Section 70 of the Roads Act, 1993.
“The council’s objective is that by the start of the nesting season next March, most of the worst affected local roads in the County will be significantly safer for the traffic that uses them,” Deputy Carey explained.
The Roads Act, 1993 stipulates that all growth emanating from any part of the roadside boundary structure or from within the land protected by same is the responsibility of the landowner. The Community Hedge Cutting Grant Scheme is intended to provide support in this context to offset some of the costs associated with hedgecutting.
Application forms are available online via www.clarecoco.ie, and from Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis.