Farmers seeking to remove a hedgerow from next year onwards will have to plant more hedging than they intend on removing in advance of works commencing, according to the Department of Agriculture's updated draft CAP strategic plan.
The CAP strategic plan has proposed doubling the pre-removal planting requirement for hedgerows to twice the length that a farmer intends on removing.
Currently, farmers only have to plant the same length of hedge that they plan on taking out.
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said this move will help recognise the value of existing hedgerows and act to dissuade farmers from removing them.
Impact assessment review
Minister McConalogue also confirmed that the Department would be undertaking a review of the regulations governing environmental impact assessments.
The review will look at the thresholds beyond which an environmental impact assessment is needed to carry out works and may change the length of hedgerow which will need an environmental impact assessment to be removed.
Stakeholders will be involved in this review, the Minister said.