Farmers who illegally burn land during the closed season risk prosecution warns the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.
This relates to any agricultural and eligible forestry land between the period of March 1st 2018 to August 31st 2018.
If you burn land after March 1st such land is not eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes.
Minister Creed added that inclusion of illegally burnt land in the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme application may result in reduced payment and penalties under this scheme and the other area-based schemes, e.g. the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme.
Illegal burning can also render the land of your neighbours ineligible for payment. Where it is identified that lands were burnt during the closed season this may result in such land being inspected by Department officials.
“Both farmers and the wider public, whether it be at work or in enjoying the countryside, should at this time of year be mindful of the damage caused by burning and should take appropriate care,” concluded the Minister.
The burning of vegetation is controlled by the Wildlife Acts. It is an offence under Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976 (amended by Section 46 of the Wildlife Act, 2000) to burn during the closed season any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.
Individuals who are found to burn vegetation within that prohibited period are liable to prosecution by An Garda Siochana or by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).