Group suggests farmers could be responsible for some gorse fires

The Friends of the Enviroment has suggested that farmers, allbeit not intentionally, may have been responsible for starting some of the gorse fires which raged across Donegal in recent days.

The group says their is an economic incentive encouraging farmers to burn scrub land so as to maximise their income under the Single Payments Scheme.

Only ‘utilisable areas’  of land are eligible for payment with the Friends of the Enviroment claiming this is leading to farmers burning off scrub and that some of these fires went out of control.

Tony Lowes is a spokesperson for Friends of the Irish Environment: