"This is Kerry, west of Dingle. June 2016. Colaiste Íde, Lord Ventry's old estate, now a girls' school. There used to be approximately 1 km of mature, tall, dense Blackthorn hedge which divided up the estate's farm pastures, adjacent to the C19 arboretum (which features a South American collection). A heritage landscape. This Blackthorn hedgerow was razed and grubbed up in June 2016 by the farmer, a relative of a member of the school management. He also dumped Tarmac (source was the Dingle car park?) in the field gateway. A year later the tarmac is still visible though the hedge is gone."
What was left of the hedgerow (J.Crosher).
"At the same time the school management felled trees (species not known of course) in the arboretum with no felling licences and razed an area of native Spindle. This is one of the few sites in Kerry where spindle is found and is the food plant of Spindle Ermine Moth (the only recorded site for this species on the peninsula)."
"Some residents alerted the four government departments responsible for dealing with these offences and Dingle Gardai. Kerry County Council, (Biodiversity and Environment staff), NPWS (three staff) and Forestry Service staff were all involved and at least five staff, maybe one or two more, completed site visits to the farmland and arboretum. Dingle Gardai also responded when one resident was threatened at her home by the farmer. There were no prosecutions and the damage is still evident a year on."
"Contextualised in its heritage landscape I think this (no longer with us so I hope it qualifies) hedgerow is a worthwhile candidate for not only ‘Worst Hedgerow in Ireland' category but as part of (a) the most investigated simultaneous hedgerow /felling/ dumping offences (b) to the least effect."
"I hope it will go forward to the European Finals."