Stop hedge-cutting 13 days from now
February 28 is the last day for cutting hedgerows, until September 1.
When hedge cutting, leave o n e ne w w h i t e t h o r n t r e e in every routinely trimmed hedgerow, in line with the All-Ireland P o l l i n a t o r P la n st ra t eg y to address the decline in bees. One-third of Irish bee species are threatened with extinction. Bees are declining because of a reduction in the wildflowers from which the bees get pollen f o r p r o t e i n , a n d n ec ta r f o r carbohydrates.
There is also a lack of continuity of flowering plants. Bees require food all year round, requiring a diversity of flowering plants in the landscape.
H e d g e r o w s a r e t h e mo st important source of flowers in the Irish farmed landscape, but are only of value to pollinators if flowers are present. Routinely trimmed hedgerows do not produce flowers.
L e a v i n g oc ca s i on a l t h o rn trees to grow and mature in routinely trimmed hedgerows is a simple way to provide flowers for bees, and fruit for birds. Fa r m e r s w h o r e t a in t r ee s such as ash may not consider whitethorn as a potential tree. We need this thinking, for the sake of the bees.
Retain any single thorn stem from the hedgerow. Birds and bees do not mind if it is not perfectly straight! Whitethorn trees are suitable i n h e d g e r ow s , a s th e y a re relatively small at maturity and do not cast shade, causing gaps in hedgerows. Every little helps; you can make a difference!