Autumn glory: leaves clinging to the trees  at Killiney  Co Dublin, in mid-November. Photograph: Eric Luke

You’d think it should be quite easy to recognise tree species. Unlike many plants, trees are big and obvious. Unlike birds and mammals, they don’t fly(...)

Nitrogen rich: spreading slurry. Photograph: Getty Images

It’s good to know that Ireland is not always in the EU’s environmental doghouse. Our national ceiling for ammonia emissions in the atmosphere is 116 k(...)

Spreading their wings: herons in Palo Verde, in Costa Rica, part of the national-park system that the environmentalist Alvaro Ugalde helped to found. Photograph: Mayela Lopez/AFP/Getty

The Society for Ecological Restoration was founded in California, in 1989, by a few dozen Americans and Canadians. They believed that damaged landscap(...)

Slash and burn: in the world of ecological restoration, prairies are burned to make them flourish. Photograph courtesy of Sergei Smirenski/CUP
Restoring the future

We are standing in Rochester Cemetery, in Iowa, but we are not being invited to look at its gravestones. We are here to look between them, for new lif(...)

Wildlife area: the Grove, developed by the Tidy Towns team in Loughrea, Co Galway. Photograph: Paddy Woodworth

‘Too much about nature conservation is about ‘No’,” says Janice Fuller, an ecologist who has had remarkable success in persuading people in east Galwa(...)

Invaded territory: dune ridges at Bodega Marine Reserve dominated by marram grass and (dark patches) Hottentot fig instead of native vegetation. Photograph: Jackie Sones
The aliens have landed

Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco, has got pretty used to living with threats of one kind or another. Most obviously, this natural harbour sits on to(...)

Looking for lunch: spoonbills feed by sifting food from mud. Photograph: J Morales/Age/Getty

It’s a foul morning in Plaiundi, a nature reserve on the southern side of the River Bidasoa where it approaches the sea between the Spanish and French(...)

In the Comeraghs: Coumshingaun Lough, in Co Waterford. Photograph: George Munday/Alamy

Robert Lloyd Praeger, whose book The Way That I Went, from 1937, remains an eccentric treasure for anyone interested in our natural history, described(...)

The deer hunter: Emma Meredith has been closely involved with the PSNI’s new campaign against deer poaching.  Photograph: Klaus Vedfelt/Taxi/Getty

There is a widespread belief here, on both sides of the Border, and probably in most countries, that the police don’t care very much about crimes agai(...)

Dublin Bay Birds: the Dublin oystercatcher known as AJ, photographed in Norway. Photograph: BirdWatch Ireland

Few Irish shorebirds look more dramatic than the oystercatcher. The size of a plump duck, with very smart black-and-white plumage, it flaunts a dramat(...)

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