Most of Ireland’s oldest hedgerows, which are rich in plant varieties, have been in existence since 1750-1850 when open or ‘common’ land in Ireland was enclosed.
Hedgerows contribute significantly to the biodiversity and landscape character of County Kilkenny. They have an important farming function, help prevent flooding, are wildlife habitats, and wildlife corridors between habitats, and they also have historical significance as townland and field boundaries.
Hedgerows are afforded protection under the Wildlife (Amendment) Act, 2000, which prohibits the cutting of hedges during the bird nesting period (1st March -1st September).
Useful documents in relation to hedgerows include:
Conserving Hedgerows, and
Kilkenny County Council has undertaken surveys of hedgerows in a number of settlements around the county (Kilkenny City, Gowran, Fiddown, Piltown, Johnstown, Urlingford, Ballyragget, Ballyhale, Mooncoin, and Knocktopher), as part of Habitat and Green Infrastructure Assessments.