In order to raise awareness of the need to maintain road side trees and hedges, Cork County Council is reminding landowners that they are obliged, under the Roads Act of 1993, to take all reasonable care to ensure that trees, ditches, hedges and other vegetation growing on their land are not a danger to people using or working on a public road or public footpath. Landowners are also reminded that liability for damage or injury resulting from such hazards will rest with them.
Uncut hedges and trees are a serious road safety hazard and can cause substantial damage to vehicles, particularly heavy goods vehicles. Examples of hazards include dead or dying trees, ditches or hedges interfering with traffic, blocking footpaths, obscuring road signs, public lighting, or road users’ visibility.
Landowners/occupiers are required to fell, cut, log, trim or remove such trees, ditches and hedges. Particular attention should be given to damaged or weakened trees or limbs and stumps of felled trees as a result of storms and that all necessary work should be carried out while hedges are dormant between the start of September and the end of February.
Hedgerows are vital to biodiversity and it’s important that landowners keep in mind that any cutting, grubbing and burning of vegetation on uncultivated land between 1st March and 31st August is prohibited under the Wildlife Acts.
Road side hedgerows make up only a small percentage of the overall hedgerows in the county and landowners are encouraged to visit the website www.pollinators.ie to learn more about protecting wildlife and promoting biodiversity on their lands.
The Council also reminds landowners that notices may be served on those who do not comply with their statutory obligations.
Further details are available on Cork County Council’s website www.corkcoco.ie