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Minister of State Wallace warns against illegal felling of trees

Ms. Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with responsibility for Forestry, reminded the public that under the Forestry Act 1946, with certain exceptions, it is unlawful to fell a tree of any age without a Felling Licence or to uproot a tree over 10 years of age.

The Minister of State added "All cases of alleged illegal fellings reported to my Department in Wexford are investigated and if found to contravene the Act prosecutions may be initiated. The public should be aware that while Planning Permission may be granted for development by a local authority this does not automatically give the public the authority to fell trees on their sites. In many cases, a Felling Licence will be required as well."

Minister of State Wallace took the opportunity to remind the general public of this statutory requirement following the outcome of a recent illegal felling prosecution, taken by the Forest Service of her Department in respect of unlicensed tree felling in Co. Cavan. This case involved the felling of 400 broadleaf trees without a Felling Licence in a special area of conservation. The successful prosecution, taken under Section 37 of the Forestry Act 1946, resulted in substantial fines plus costs and a Replanting Order, making it obligatory to replant the felled area.

The Minister of State advised that the public should be aware of the requirements of the Forestry Act and if in doubt should contact the Felling Section of the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture and Food, based in Johnstown Castle, Wexford telephone numbers (053) 9160170/9160174/9160181.

9 February, 2007

Date Released: 09 February 2007