The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, and the Minister for Heritage, Josepha Madigan, to do more to prevent wildfires.
This request comes after recent wildfires in Killarney National Park and the Slieve Mish Special Area of Conservation (SAC) on the Dingle Peninsula.
IWT campaigns officer, Pádraic Fogarty, said: “Although we have seen stricter penalties introduced for those with burnt land in recent years, clearly more needs to be done.”
“It is not sufficient for government ministers to simply issue a press release and hope this problem will go away. We need active engagement with landowners across hill areas to promote restoration of habitats.”
“We currently have no working management plan for either Killarney National Park, the Macgillduddy Reeks, the Slieve Mish SAC or countless other areas which are potential of high nature and landscape value. Many of these areas have also been burned in the last five years – compounding the harm that is caused.”
The IWT stated that it believes a new vision for these areas is required, where state bodies and private landowners are encouraged to rewild landscapes and/or introduce farming practices that are sensitive to nature conservation.
It is of the opinion that such an approach would result in enormous positive benefits for climate targets, nature and people living in those areas.