A call has been made to extend the period to burn vegetation on the Knockmealdowns and other mountain ranges
Senator Garret Ahearn highlighted the Ardfinnan – Ballybacon – Grange – Newcastle gun clubs conservation project which has resulted in a 30% increase in the numbers of red grouse since 2004.
The club say that ensuring that young heather is available to the grouse is probably the most impactful body of work that they can do to ensure the successful breeding.
Senator Ahearn made the case to Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan to amend the Wildlife Act to extend the burn period available.
“The current window for burning from the 1st of September to the 23rd of February is unduly restrictive and particularly when its compared to our EU neighbours which extends until the 15th of April.
“A similar window here or the ability to apply and be granted a derogation for conservation purposes would greatly aid the voluntary work that they do on that mountain.”
Minister Noonan acknowledged the conservation efforts by gun clubs across the country.
However he told Senator Ahearn that he has no plans at present to propose a change to the statutory dates.