Paddy Woodworth using the Seek app on his phone in Dublin’s Phoenix Park to identify items found in nature from trees, flowers, shrubs to animals. Photograph: Alan Betson

Developing the skills to recognise different species of animals and plants enables us to enjoy our landscapes as more diverse and richly populated pla(...)

The Xihua Farmer’s Market in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, May 4th.  where  turtles and frogs are sold openly. Photograph: Epa/Alex Plavevski

Healthy ecosystems – as ecologists and economists have been telling us for decades – provide humanity with essential “services’”, like breathable air,(...)

A protester holds a Catalan pro-independence “estelada” flag during a sit-in protest  in Barcelona. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP

We live in baffling, distressing and very frightening times. The real and present dangers we face – chronic and deepening inequality, climate and bio(...)

The role of butterflies as indicators of healthy habitats, and as useful pollinators, is only beginning to be generally appreciated.

“Mysterious and little-known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendour awaits . . ” EO Wilson, who first published the term (...)

Reversing the flow: plastic dams inserted by Coillte in drains on Aghrane bog in Co Galway. They rewet the peatland, and restore its capacity to capture and store carbon. Photograph: John Conaghan

Hans Joosten talks about raising the profile of peatlands in the climate-change crisis with the authority of an internationally respected scientist, t(...)

The unprecedented frequency and intensity of recent fires, as we have seen recently in California, is causing “abrupt, dramatic change”, Falk says. Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

“Climate change is a game-changer for ecological restoration. We are having to restore into a world that does not yet exist,” according to leading res(...)

Puffin

It was an uncharacteristically balmy late afternoon in early March, about 20 years ago. I had just taken extended leave from this newspaper to write a(...)

Starter binocular options at about €120 can greatly enhance your observations. Photograph: ZenShui/Odilon Dimier/Getty Images

Very few people are entirely indifferent to birds, and most of us find them an occasional source of some brief wonder and delight. Even the most comm(...)

People pay tribute on Friday, outside the Liceu theatre in Barcelona, to victims of Thursday’s attack. Photograph: Quique Garcia/EPA

It’s a cliche, simply because it’s important truth, that one’s first thoughts about a terrorist act should always be with the victims, to make some ef(...)

Shared airspace: wetland birds fly over the Llobregat wetlands; Barcelona airport is in the background. Photograph: Juan Ramón Lucena Santacreu

A black-winged stilt is high-stepping daintily through shallow water. Its almost absurdly long legs flash vivid red, scattering silver droplets in the(...)

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