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Gardeners’ World favourite Monty Don, 65, has criticised the decision to cut down hedges after spotting a Twitter user’s post showing “a flurry of hedgerow savagery”. The presenter branded the situation “so careless, so disrespectful and so stupid,” as he pointed out the damage the act can inflict on wildlife.
Monty retweeted a photo shared by a social media user, which revealed a hedgerow had been cut into ahead of the deadline in March.
The image also showed split branches alongside the caption: “Sure signs spring is here – a flurry of hedgerow savagery before the March deadline.”
Monty then hit out at the decision in view of his 209,000 followers.
He penned yesterday: “Apart from anything else it is so careless, so disrespectful and so stupid.”
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The horticulturalist went on to explain his views in response to a fan’s comment on his post.
Monty’s follower wrote: “I know Monty, I laid my own hedges this autumn.
“But the ultimate problem is farmers are under so much pressure to produce cheap food most haven’t got time to do anything carefully. I agree it’s horrible.”
Monty then replied: “I actually think it is a tidiness culture.
“By and large flails do create uniform, neat hedgerows if the material is small enough.
“But uniformity and neatness are not good for wildlife.”
Other fans also joined Monty in commenting on the issue.
One person said: “Many farmers would not do this to their hedges. But there’s far too many that do. It’s an act of wanton vandalism.
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“Some of these hedgerows are hundreds of years old. It’s incalculable the amount of damage poor agricultural practice has done to our wildlife.”
Another added: “Most farmers don’t seem to have anything to do at this time of year but to demolish hedges, which are not just a home for wildlife but can act as a snow break.”
A third person penned: “We have seen so much of this. Not even cut properly just ripped/torn.
“Youngsters let loose with chainsaws also cutting down everything in sight, including young trees. Horrible to see and so detrimental to the birds and landscape.”
“Exactly the same is being done here in Ireland, some lady here posted a hedgerow and it was a mirror image,” a fourth fan added.
Some mature hedgerows are protected by law, but this doesn’t usually apply to garden hedges, according to the RSPB’s website.
The organisation also recommends avoiding hedge cutting during the main breeding season for nesting birds, which usually runs from March to August each year.
However, they add that this period can be weather dependent and some birds may nest outside this period.
The charity therefore points out that it is important to always check carefully for active bird nests prior to cutting.
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