Donal Hickey

Powerline pose danger to birds

AN elderly nun of our acquaintance, long since living overseas, likes to whimsically recall the days when she could look out the front door of her old home and watch geese in the bog below, writes Donal Hickey

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Seasons appear askew and out of sorts

THERE’S an old saying about people whose word is dodgy — that they’d promise you blackberries for Christmas.

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Restored bogs could solve some of our flooding problems

AS experts and government departments seek ways to resolve our flood problems, they might also take a look at what some of our fellow Celts are doing. Restored bogs, acting as a sort of sponge, can provide part of the solution.

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Silver lining in stormy weather sees oil prices fall

ABOUT the only upside of the dreadful weather this winter is that oil prices have continued to fall and many people are also using less fuel to heat their homes because of the unseasonally mild weather, writes Donal Hickey

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Even around Chernobyl, nature has a fighting chance for survival

Let’s start the early days of 2016 on a positive note. There’s still hope for nature — if it’s only given chance. And, it can get on fine without humans.

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Bogs can help stop flooding

ONE of the first jobs Bord na Móna had to do prior to the commencement of commercial turfcutting, in the 1930s, was to drain the bogs. Now, there are calls to reverse the process and to “rewet” bogs as part of a process to combat the effects of climate change.

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Wren boys on the march at Christmas

IN the days coming up to Christmas, wrenboy groups are again preparing for a time-honoured, St Stephen’s Day tradition in which the eponymous little bird was once the centrepiece. 

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Enduring properties of ivy for Christmas

IN spite of all the new-fangled, plastic decorations, people still like to adorn their homes with ivy and holly at Christmas, writes Donal Hickey

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Vulnerable bass in Cork fitted with tags to determine how they spawn

The latest technology is being used to learn more about the vulnerable bass species in Irish waters. Bass in Cork Harbour have been fitted with tags to help determine where and how they spawn.

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Duhallow group honoured for wildlife and environmental work

A group in north Cork which has been giving a lead for many years through its work for wildlife and the environment is to receive a well-deserved award, writes Donal Hickey.

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Pollinator plan must thrive as weeds and wildflowers are important to bees

Nature doesn’t do tidy and a weed is just a plant in the wrong place. The words of a leading teacher on the natural world and the environment.

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Should we think again before giving in to a political call for deer cull?

BEFORE a trigger is pulled in the latest cull of native Red deer, in Killarney National Park, should the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) think again, asks Donal Hickey

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Compost saves our bogs

IT’S been a long time since we’ve seen such a profusion of autumnal shades so late in the year.

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Let’s hear it for the natterjack

GIVEN all the bad news we hear about the state of nature, it’s always positive to note the success of a project to ensure the survival of an endangered species in Ireland.

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Beware flight of ivy bee

PEOPLE are being asked to keep an eye out for a new colonist on its way to Ireland. The ivy bee was first recorded in the south of Britain, in 2001, having crossed the English Channel. It is continuing to move northwards and, according to experts, it’s only a matter of time before it crosses the Irish Sea.

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Killarney park in a rut

MAKING the most of the splendid autumn weather of recent weeks, large numbers of people have been flocking to Killarney National Park and surrounding areas to get a close-up view of the red deer during the annual ‘rut’, or mating season, writes Donal Hickey.

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A curlew

Wetland habitats restored

TWO birds we remember from days in the bog, many years ago, we rarely see now. 

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Lyme disease on the rise

THE culprit is so small that it’s difficult to see, but it can strike with deadly effect. Cases of Lyme disease are increasing in Britain and people here are again being urged to take precautions.

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Batteries loaded with toxins

OUR lives these days seem to be run on batteries — laptops, mobile phones, toys and numerous electrical devices. 

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Demise of bees identified

A reduction in the number of farmland birds in some European countries is being attributed to insecticides which are also claimed to have caused massive bee deaths globally, according to new research.

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Nature’s eternal cycle in rural Ireland

A SONG by the Clare minstrel, PJ Murrihy, about an old threshing mill brought back memories of days growing up in rural Ireland when the whine of a threshing machine echoed around the countryside. In those times, grain was harvested much later than now.

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