In ancient times Ireland was covered in broadleaf woodland but is now one of the least-forested countries in Europe. Only 2% of the country is covered in native or semi-natural woodland, whereas hedgerows cover around 3.9%, making them a vital habitat for wildlife in our agriculturally-dominated land. Native hedgerows support numerous animals and can have up to 144 plant species. These strips provide food and shelter and act as linking corridors between habitat patches.
In contrast, over 72.8% of our forestry plantations contain non-native conifers that support relatively low levels of biodiversity. Many of our hedgerows are hundreds of years old and management intensity is one of the greatest threats to hedgerow biodiversity. Help us stop the changes to the Wildlife Act and help save our hedges and wildlife! To find out more and sign the petition, please see: https://my.uplift.ie/
Photo: Philip McErlean Ballynahoe Hedges.