Donal Hickey

Water sports spreading invasive species across Ireland

PEOPLE who move between locations to use waterways for sport may, unwittingly, be spreading dangerous invasive species in Ireland.

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We must prioritise coastal protection and tackle erosion

WITH memories of storms a year ago still fresh, people in coastal areas worry about a recurrence of the damage and flooding — made worse by a lack of hope that anything meaningful will be done about the situation.

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Help to save our wildlife

WE might as well get into positive mode early in the New Year.

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Foxes are at home in cities

PEOPLE in city and country areas may hear eerie cries these nights, but be not be afraid. The screams might sound like the banshee. More than likely, however, it’s a female fox as we are in the mating season for the madra rua.

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Threats to salmon widen

AS people tuck into mountains of smoked salmon — most of which is the farmed variety — over the festive season, the wild Atlantic salmon will continue its long battle for survival.

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Dreaming of a white Christmas? Well, here's the facts

WHY, asks Donal Hickey, is it that so many Christmas cards continue to feature images of snow on the ground when white Christmases are so rare?

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Tips to ensure rats and mice are not an unwelcome visitor this winter

IT might be hard to credit, but there has been a downside to the remarkably mild year we have enjoyed. The prolonged fine weather and abundance of food created ideal breeding conditions for rats and mice and is resulting in a current boom for pest control firms which are hard-pressed to meet demand for their service.

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Plants face icy future

LARGE amounts of water flowing into the North Atlantic from melting Polar ice caps, as a result of global warming, could have serious consequences for growing conditions along our south and west coasts.

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Bere-ing all for beauty

THOUGH Bere Island lies just 2km offshore from the busy fishing port of Castletownbere, in West Cork, it manages to retain that special ‘’island feel’’ and a sense that you are away from a noisier and more rushed world.

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Stocking up for the winter

AS WE move from the so-called season of mists and mellow fruitfulness into the colder and shorter days of winter, humans are not the only creatures preparing for the seasonal change generally marked by Halloween.

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Fancy checking out birds?

ANYONE visiting our off-shore islands, such as the Skelligs or the Blaskets, will surely be enthralled by not only what’s happening on the water, but above their heads.

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Hanging out with trees IS good for your health

AS trees slowly don their autumn coats of brown, russet and golden hues, it’s a delightful time to walk in the woods and forests. And, as an added bonus, such an experience may also be good for our health. 

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Birds, bees and many weeds on the hills

SINCE the EU introduced regulations leading to a huge reduction of sheep on the hills we’ve been hearing complaints about uncontrolled vegetation that can result in fires that sometimes get out of control. At certain times of the year, farmers set fires to burn off scrub to allow fresh grass grow.

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Insects: A vital part of life

WHY is it so many people automatically squirm at the sight of insects and bugs, most of which are utterly harmless and are living closer to us than we think? I’ve seen normally fearless, grown men recoil on seeing a cockroach crossing a kitchen floor or a spider weaving its web.

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Blacka’s ... they’re the berries

WE’RE well into the blackberry season and the warm weather has helped the growth and ripening of this popular fruit all around the country — one of the best years in recent times.

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A Clouded Yellow on the horizon

AMONG the unusual visitors brought by fine weather to our shores is the Clouded Yellow butterfly.

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Deer and the laws of attraction

THERE’S a lot of talk about the possibilities reintroduced golden and white-tailed eagles create for attracting tourists to the west coast, but what about animals that have been here thousands of years?

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