A Sinn Féin MEP has called for cross-party support for an amendment to the Heritage Bill that seeks to protect bees.
Liadh Ní Riada said: "The Heritage Bill presently before the Seanad contains a provision, which, if enacted, would allow hedgerows to be cut back in August. Such a step would have a seriously detrimental impact on bees.
"Sinn Féin holds deep appreciation for the value of nature and for the cultural and educational importance of hedgerows. Hedgerows link archaeological, geological, social and natural heritage. They have utility in the present and also mark the past [...] I am calling for cross party support on this issue, and encourage all those concerned with protecting Irish agriculture and biodiversity to contact their local representatives and ask them to support this amendment."
Environmental groups held demonstrations outside the Dáil yesterday. Those opposed to the changes warn that while the proposed legislation will provide farmers with an additional month of farming, the move will also negatively affect the bird-breeding season.