Local environmentalists have raised concerns over the “unnecessary destruction” of roadside hedgerows and trees throughout the county.
Sinéad Moran, a conservationist farmer from Aghamore, said she observed “barbaric” hedge-cutting in the Claremorris and Charlestown areas.
She uploaded photos to social media showing the “unnecessary destruction” of trees and hedges chopped back to stumps, arguing that the plants were not impacting drivers or pedestrians.
According to Biodiversity Ireland’s website, hedgerows are “important nesting and over-wintering sites for solitary bees”. It also says that cutting hedges back too much “reduces their capacity to flower”.
Green Party Dáil election candidate Saoirse McHugh said the rate and scale of tree and hedge cutting across the county seems “excessive and really thoughtless”.
“All over the country you see it; trees are cut back way in excess of what is necessary to keep roads safe,” she added.
Ms McHugh highlighted the importance of trees in protecting against floods, air pollution, and in protecting biodiversity. However, many concerned citizens feel “totally powerless” as environmental concerns fall on deaf ears.
“I feel it is important to have some transparency when people want to know why certain trees are being butchered or pulled out altogether,” she added.
Mayo County Council was questioned by the Western People about the level and nature of roadside cutting across the county but has not yet responded for comment.