Donal Hickey

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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A worthy project to protect the red grouse

ONCE a familiar sight in upland areas, the red grouse is only rarely seen these days, says Donal Hickey

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Calling all lizard lovers

IN Ireland, much remains to be learned about our native wildlife. In Britain, they are well ahead of us in terms of research and numerous, active voluntary groups there are constantly updating themselves on the state of nature.

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Vital work on Irish wetlands is necessary

We must look after our country’s wetlands, writes Donal Hickey

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Children need to get outdoors because the world’s future lies in nature

WE HEAR a lot these days about a condition known as nature deficit disorder — the ill effects on children resulting from lack of direct contact with the natural world — while at the same time there were never more school programmes on the environment, writes Donal Hickey.

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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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