In Ireland, the best we have are six years of data on a small number bumblebee species, and 10 years’ worth on a small number butterfly species.

At last, we’re on the right side of the spring solstice. To me, longer days mean fewer excuses for standing (or, if I’m honest, sitting) idly by while(...)

‘Basically, we’ve got to stop selling bits of the car and find a handy mechanic to give it a good service.’ Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

I’m in a taxi, and after the obligatory nod to the weather and the state of Dublin’s one-way systems, the driver is telling me what he thinks about my(...)

Murmuration: starlings at dusk.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The light at this time of year has a particularly ethereal quality. Dim and hazy, struggling to reach us, it sometimes seems to illuminate only shadow(...)

Leave unnecessary supermarket plastic in the supermarket. Photograph: Alan Betson
New year’s resolutions for nature

While they’re more likely to give up gin and tonic than call themselves environmentalists, my aunts are among the most switched-on people I know when (...)

Since 1970, there has been an average decline of 60 per cent in populations of birds, mammals, fish and amphibians. In people terms, that’s equivalent to the populations of Africa, Europe, China, Oceania and both the Americas Photograph: Tilo Nadler/Conservation International/PA Wire

It has been a depressing month to be a human, and I’m not just talking about the political eutrophication to the east and west of our shores. The Worl(...)

A glacier in the Caucasus mountains

Have you ever wondered what climate change sounds like? Me neither. Until a couple of weeks ago, that is, when I was 3,000m above sea level in the mid(...)

Damien Grey, head chef and proprietor of Heron & Grey restaurant, Blackrock, Co Dublin, forages for tasty herbs on Killiney Hill. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

There’s something magical about finding a patch of wildness in the middle of a bustling city. A few weeks ago, I followed a previously unknown path do(...)

Plastic bottles washed up by the sea. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Like many people I spent the Christmas holidays last year binge-watching Blue Planet 2 and gasping in horror at the vivid tragedy of plastic pollution(...)

Hen harrier in flight. From a bird’s perspective, a good hedge is one that is the right height and width, with  trees and shrubs to provide berries and tall branches on which to  perch and pose  to attract a mate. Illustration: Richard Mills

Petrichor, the smell that rain makes when it falls on dry soil, is the smell of relief. Right now, the first showers in weeks are bringing welcome dro(...)

The “most sustainable” tomatoes are the ones that will be bursting forth in my garden next month: fresh, zero food miles, organic, no plastic. iStock
What is sustainable, anyway?

I’m standing in the supermarket. I’m in a hurry. I need tomatoes. There are juicy-looking organic ones from Turkey, wrapped in plastic I can’t recycle(...)

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