independent

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Wildlife habitat gets an unexpected chop

Niamh Lennon, Jim Power, Brian Rickwood, Cllr Kathleen Codd Nolan chairperson Wexford County Council, Jim Hurley, Cllr Paddy Codd and Cllr Tony Dempsey
Niamh Lennon, Jim Power, Brian Rickwood, Cllr Kathleen Codd Nolan chairperson Wexford County Council, Jim Hurley, Cllr Paddy Codd and Cllr Tony Dempsey

David Tucker

AN OVER-ZEALOUS council grass cutter has cut a swathe along a roadside verge on the edge of Wexford town that was supposed to be preserved to attract local wildlife.

AN OVER-ZEALOUS council grass cutter has cut a swathe along a roadside verge on the edge of Wexford town that was supposed to be preserved to attract local wildlife.

The verge was cut despite a large new sign proclaiming the strip of the N25 at Barntown was part of the county council's 'Life Lives on the Edge' project.

The sign clearly says 'Do Not Cut', referring to both the grass verge and the hedgerow, but it was clearly not clear enough.

And instead of waving grasses and weeds luring the butterflies and bees, there is now a strip of green swarde that wouldn't look out of place at Wexford Park.

County council senior roads engineer Jim Power said the verge had been cut by mistake and crews had now been advised not to cut the protected areas until they were given direct instructions.

'The odd mistake is bound to happen..not everybody may realise the significance of the biodersity project and the need to control the cutting,' he said.

Sections of the roadside at Barntown, Tagoat, Crossabeg and Scaralwalsh are included in the pioneering project, the first of its kind in Ireland.

The signposts aim to highlight the importance of road verges and hedgerows as crucial wildlife corridors for Wexford's flora and fauna.

Wexford County Council said the overall aim of the project is to enhance or rediscover the range of visible biodiversity that potentially exists along our Wexford roads.

'In recent times, excessive concern with neatness on roadsides has led to development of verge management specifications that are not compatible with conservationof biodiversity, weed control or cost-effective vegetation management,' it said in a statement released for the launch of the project earlier this month.

'This project is concentrated on maintaining the roadside vegetation at the four pilot sites thereby achieving biodiversity goals without neglecting safety or infrastructural maintenance objectives,' said Niamh Lennon.

These areas have been initially cut once in February/March and should not have been cut again until September.

The council said this was a longterm project that it hoped would result in a range of colourful wildflowers along our roadsides as well as an increase in associated fauna such as butterflies and bees.

Wexford People

Most Read

News