It’s not just a Motorway…it’s a Beeway!
What are the Bee signs that I am seeing along the Eastern Motorway Corridor?
TII is trying to promote awareness of its All Ireland Pollinator Plan (AIPP) friendly policies and has implemented some trial ‘Bee friendly’ images based on AIPP mid junctions along the Eastern managed Motorway network. These signs are aimed at capturing the imagination of our younger Motorway passengers, as well as to provide assurance to the public that the limited grass cutting is not a shortcoming in maintenance practices but rather an alignment with national AIPP policy.
What is TII’s Landscape Strategy?
TII landscapes are based on an ‘ecological design approach’ using native species (but not exclusively) and species with high ecological value. Our aim is to develop a functional, cost effective and healthy landscape that fits within the overall objectives of TII road and rail safety and performance. Our management approach in many areas, once the landscape has established, is a limited intervention and selfsustaining approach. For more information on TII’s landscape strategy for our road network, refer to Guidelines on the Implementation of Landscape Treatments on National Road Schemes in Ireland and A Guide to Landscape Treatments for National Road Schemes in Ireland.
Is TII promoting landscape management for our pollinators?
Yes! TII has collaborated with the All Ireland Pollinator Plan in developing a sectorspecific guideline to improve the design and landscape management of our Transport Corridors for our pollinators but also for overall biodiversity. It is planned to implement the actions of the plan over the network on a phased basis. For example, as part of our grassland management, TII is committed to reducing the frequency of grass mowing in certain areas in order to enhance the value of our grass areas for wildlife and biodiversity. The Guide can be found at Pollinator Friendly Management of Transport Corridors. TII has agreed to the deferral of the commencement of grass cutting to after the 15th April, as well as the relaxation of grass cutting frequencies with all of its Motorway Operations Contractors. One of the main aims of this is to reduce the frequency of mowing of grassy areas to provide food for pollinators.
Why are TII cutting grass areas and reducing their habitat value?
TII maintains a narrow strip of mown grass along the carriageway and at some junctions to facilitate safer breakdown resolution, to maintain sightlines and to ensure signs/lights/drains are not impacted or due to local issues. Most other areas of grassland on the network are managed with limited intervention and following a self-sustaining approach.
Why aren’t there more wildflowers in TII unmown grass banks and verges?
TII grasslands are managed as self-sustaining meadows where the overall value of the grass areas for all biodiversity is considered. While some areas are managed specifically for wild flowers with annual cuts, most areas are managed as longer grass meadows. These require less frequent cuts, perhaps only one cut per three to five years. Although maybe not as colourful as wildflower areas, these grasslands support many species of insect and grasses and provide important undisturbed nesting sites, food sources and shelter.
Why is TII cutting down trees on the Motorway?
Trees are primarily cut down on the network for safety reasons and to preserve sightlines and safety zones. Sometimes it is necessary to cut down trees on the network where they may have outgrown their location or have become damaged. Also, as a part of active management of TII landscapes, selective thinning may sometimes be required for the long-term health of tree belts.
A tree or hedge is overhanging my property, what can I do?
Generally, unless there is a safety or maintenance issue, TII will not prune back branches or remove trees. The trees were planted as part of a considered landscape approach where they provide both screening and value for biodiversity. However, if it is deemed that there is a safety or maintenance issue, we will review the landscape element in question and if works are required, we will consider this on the advice of our Landscape Management Team.