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APPLICATIONS ARE NOW being accepted for this year’s community hedge cutting grant scheme.

Landowners and community groups will be facilitated by Clare County Council to maintain hedgerows across the county as the local authority begins the process of complimenting its hedge-cutting programme this autumn.

A total of €10,000 will be provided to deal with the local road network across autumn and winter. It’s part of the Community Hedge Cutting Grant Scheme, which was the first of its kind to be developed in Ireland when it was piloted in 2013.

September 30th 2022 is the deadline for the accepting of applications from communities and groups. Each application will be assessed and a grant of €50 per km of hedgerow will be paid, subject to certain conditions and available resources.

According to the local authority, the scheme will provide some financial assistance to communities and groups that undertake hedge-cutting and the cutting of overhanging trees, and will assist landowners in complying with their responsibilities under Section 70 of the Roads Act, 1993.

Administrative officer in the transportation unit of the County Council, Liam O’Connor stated, “We are confident that this scheme, complemented by the Council’s ongoing hedge-cutting programme, will be of benefit in dealing effectively with this issue. Our objective is that by the start of the nesting season in March 2023, much of the worst affected local roads in the county will be significantly enhanced in their capacity to accommodate the traffic that uses them”.

He 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”. Liam added, “From a road safety point of view, it is important that this responsibility is acknowledged and embraced by roadside landowners and the Community Hedge Cutting Grant Scheme is intended to provide support in this context to offset some of the costs associated with hedge-cutting.”

Application forms are available from Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis and online at https://www.clarecoco.ie/services/roads-and-transport/schemes-and-projects/hedge-cutting/

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