A recent statement by the Minister for Agriculture that would see farmers held responsible for wildfires they have not lit could result in farmers restricting access to their property, which would clearly impact on hill walking.

That’s according to the Mayo Chairman of the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association.

Gerry Loftus has called on Minister Creed to retract the statement.

He says hill farmers in Co Mayo have payments held up due to a fire which someone else was convicted of lighting, but the farmers are the ones suffering.

The Mayo Chair of the INHFA says the Minister’s action could result in closing the hills to walkers, as farmers will need to assess what public access to their property means.

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