Up in smoke?: stonechats favour nesting in furze. Illustration: Michael Viney

A furze bush burns in a sizzling eruption, as its pyrolitic oil takes fire. Conifer forest burns with a roar, creating its own winds from superheated (...)

The huge gorse fire at Ballintogher in Sligo, which raged for more than 30 hours. Photograph: Sligo County Council

A large gorse fire that raged on a mountain in Sligo for more than 30 hours has been brought under control. Sligo County Council confirmed the fire i(...)

Firefighters at the scene of a raging gorse fire in West Cork. Photograph: Cork County Fire Service/PA Wire

No farmer with illegally burnt land, including areas of conservation, upland and commonage, has lost out on single farm payments, the Irish Wildlife T(...)

‘Invasive alien species’: In at least 10 counties wild boar are to be shot on sight. Illustration: Michael Viney

Week after week, this column has dipped into the natural world, to celebrate the pleasure it has given me or to share my fascination with its myriad l(...)

Much research has been done on how badgers may transmit bTB to cattle, on the impacts of culling, and the effectiveness of the vaccine alternative. The outcomes are not definitive. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Few stories in the Irish environmental and agricultural worlds are as thorny and long running as the debate about culling badgers to limit the spread (...)

Humpback whale off Cork. Photograph: Pádraig Whooley/IWDG

There is a vast array of everyday wonders around this island’s 7,800km rim. With the help of a group of coastal cognoscenti, here are 55 alternatives(...)

Fishermen aboard a French trawler.  The Irish Wildlife Trust has expressed concern over EU fisheries policy. Photograph: Marcel Mochet/AFP/Getty Images

The Irish Wildlife Trust has expressed concern about what it describes as the “continuing decline of the marine environment in the Irish Sea”, followi(...)

 Dutch trawler Annelies Ilena in 2013: its recent presence in  Irish waters  caused concern. Photograph: Niall Duffy

Five Dutch and Lithuanian-owned “supertrawlers”, which have left Irish waters after fishing off the west coast, were not boarded by the Naval Service(...)

Ciaran Visser enjoying playing in the daffodils in the Botanic Gardens Dublin yesterday. Photograph: David Sleator

For traditionalists, February 1st, St Brigid’s Day, marks the beginning of spring but this year the usual indicators, such as returning migrato(...)

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