Donal Hickey

Reducing food waste could save you €1000 per year

ANYONE want to save €1,000 per year, asks Donal Hickey

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Treasures wash in with tide

BE IT an intriguing message in a bottle from some far-flung corner of the world, or even a glittering gold nugget, the oceans have ways of hiding things until, seemingly, the right person just happens along. 

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These are the creatures you can expect to encounter in nature this summer

It’s summer holiday time for the children, who will be out and about and, hopefully, enjoying the natural world which comes alive at this time of year. And, given that so much is taught about nature and the environment in school, the rising generation may be able to teach their mums and dads a thing or two.

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Our bogs are rich in species

A LONG country roads these days, you’ll occasionally meet tractors towing trailers clamped high with new season turf, being brought home earlier than usual as a result of excellent drying conditions in the bogs.

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Piseogs abound for the whitethorn plant

Several people have been in contact regarding the notable profusion of blossoming whitethorn, or hawthorn, since May, writes Donal Hickey. 

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Scourge of the midges during an Irish summer

An unseen enemy lies in wait for people making the most of fine weather and long evenings at this time of year. Many people may not have heard of Culicoides impunctatus, but everybody is familiar with a tiny creature called a midge, its name in plain language.

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Wonders of our wildflower

Some of the wildflowers that once decked the landscape are no longer seen, except in the remote corners, due to modern farming methods, destruction of habitat and the loss of hedgerows.

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Magical summer is here and people are heading toward the coast

Summer is here, at last, and with it comes the magnetic pull of the sea, writes Donal Hickey

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Flood plain mistakes mean expensive lessons have been learnt

NEW housing minister Simon Coveney accepts mistakes were made in the recent past over building on flood plains. Expensive lessons have been learnt, as many people who built and bought houses in such areas would agree.

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Wild deer an issue for State

FARMERS and other private landowners are losing patience over damage caused by roaming wild deer, some of which stray outside the bounds of State property such as national parks.

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The ancient tradition of Bealtaine is still celebrated

THE OLD pagan festival of Bealtaine, marking the coming of summer and the season of fertility, is still celebrated at an ancient stone fort at the foot of the Paps mountains, writes Donal Hickey

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Shipwreck history is riveting

WITH World War One being widely commemorated, most emphasis is on trench action. Battles at sea are often overlooked, but at least 2,000 Irishmen died on the waves and, in many cases, have no tangible monument or place to commemorate them because of the location of the wrecks, writes Donal Hickey

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Sightings of whales underway

If you see people on clifftops along the south and west coasts, with cameras, long lenses and binoculars from now until the early autumn, you can take it they’re almost certainly on the lookout for some of the biggest creatures found in the sea, writes Donal Hickey

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Waiting on buzz of summer

IN rural areas at times of unseasonally cold weather like we’ve been having of late, you’ll hear people say, ‘there are no midges around’. Neither are we likely to hear bees.

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Is Brexit bad for wildlife?

WORD from some environmentalists in Britain is that they’re worried about the impact on nature if the UK pulls out of the EU. 

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Divided opinion on trespassing deer in Killarney

AT THIS time, walkers in areas frequented by deer can come across cast antlers, treasured by some. March is the month when mature stags shed their antlers, writes Donal Hickey

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Ireland has great woodland but has the lowest forest cover of all European countries

MANY people will visit woodlands during the Easter holidays, sniffing the spring air, scenting conifers and just enjoying the trees and wildlife, writes Donal Hickey.

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Massive gain from greenways

BUILDING a greenway across open countryside is always exciting, but it’s not as simple as developing a route from one point to another, often along a disused railway line.

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Watch out for hares during breeding season

THE spectacle of a hare bounding along a hillside always lifts the spirits. Be on the lookout, for this is a time of a year when you see these normally quiet- living creatures performing dramatic acts. 

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Burning off scrub must be regulated

Very soon, the hills in parts of the south and west will be ablaze, writes Donal Hickey

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