Matthew Jebb, from the National Botanic Gardens, talks about the health-giving trees and plants to be found in your locality. Seán Meehan, from the Irish Wildlife Trust, discusses their latest survey of newts in Ireland. And Professor Adrian Lister, from London's Natural History Museum, tells us why extinction is just one of the many natural cycles of planet Earth.
Tom and Barbara Good from TV’s popular sitcom The Good Life raised chickens and goats in their back garden, they grew fruit and vegetables in their allotment and they generated their own electricity and made their own clothes. But I’m not sure if their self sufficient lifestyle stretched to eating trees?
But apparently the health benefits of trees include chewing willow bark to suppress pain, and the alder tree has been used for bruises coughs and sore throats...
Matthew Jebb is director of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland in Glasnevin, and he joins Derek, Richard and Eanna to tell us about a new study from North America which provides some evidence that living on a street with trees can help you live longer!
For more information about the National Botanic Gardens, visit www.botanicgardens.ie.
The Tree Council of Ireland's National Tree Week starts this Sunday, and the theme is 'A Feast Of Trees' - for more details of events around the country to celebrate this, visit www.treecouncil.ie/treeweek/treeweek2013.
Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. Matthew Jebb tells us why this was so significant, and about the Irish link to the discovery. For more information, you can read more by clicking here: www.botanicgardens.ie/news/DNA.
Jim Watson, who was one of those who discovered the double helix structure, will be coming to the Botanic Gardens and Trinity College in April.
Lecture: What is DNA? by Matthew Jebb. This lecture will take place at the National Botanic Gardens on Wednesday, March 20th. It will explain, in layman's terms, what DNA is and how it was discovered. The story of the double helix is a classic breakthrough in science; a brilliant insight revealed its structure in the space of a single afternoon to 2 young scientists in Cambridge in 1953. The three Nobel prize winners - Watson, Crick and Wilkinson - had three Irish parents between them, emphasising once again the central role that Irish scientists have had in scientific discovery. It starts at 3pm in the Education and Visitor Centre.
Although over 99% of all species that roamed our planet are now extinct, a rich mix of animals and plants survive.
Last weekend Derek paid a visit to the Natural History Museum in London to see their exhibition on Extinction. There he met Alex Fairhead, exhibition developer, and Paleontologist Prof Adrian Lister (pictured), who has a particular interest in the Great Irish Elk...
Extinction: Not the End of the World? is running at the Natural History Museum on Cromwell Road in London until September 8th 2013. Tickets cost £9 for adults, £4.50 for children over 4 and concessions, a family ticket is £24, and there is free entry for Members, Patrons and children under 4. For more information about the exhibition, click here.
Swarms of the Asian Hornet have already devastated beehives in the south of France, and beekeepers in England are frantically trying to root out their nests before they wipe out their native bee population. On the line from England is our own Philip McCabe, Public Relations Officer with The Federation of Irish Beekeepers' Associations.
They were described by Dick Warner as "little dinosaurs left over from the Jurassic". They are one of only three species of amphibian, native to Ireland. And they are also amongst the most elusive creatures we have on this island.
What are they?
Newts! Or, more specifically, the smooth Newt. They are extremely elusive, and we know very little about how they are distributed throughout the country.
A female newt
Recently, the Irish Wildlife Trust announced that they will be doing a nationwide survey of the smooth Newt. And the organisation wants your help! Sean Meehan is co-ordinator for the National Newt Survey for the Irish Wildlife Trust and is in studio to tell us more…
A smooth newt
To register as a surveyor in one of the targeted counties or for more information contact Seán Meehan at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 087 920-7583 or visit http://iwt.ie/2013/02/2013-national-newt-survey-needs-your-help/.
The training will be taking place on:
Kerry - Saturday, March 9th – Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre, 10am
Tipperary - Sunday, March 10th – Cabragh Wetlands, Thurles, 10am
Offaly - Sunday March 24th – Clara Bog Nature Reserve, 11am
Meath – Saturday, April 6th – Sonairte, The National Ecology Centre, Laytown, 11am.
Hedgerows and the Law
Hedgerows in Ireland form important features in maintaining wildlife diversity and in establishing wildlife "corridors", particularly for birds. The commonest nesting birds found in hedgerows such as wrens, dunnocks, robin and willow warblers depend entirely on insects during the Summer months. In general untrimmed, thorned hedgerows containing species such as blackthorn, whitethorn and holly are favoured by birds as they provide ample food and also serve as a protection against predators.
Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, as amended by Section 46 of the 2000 Act, provides protection for hedgerows by providing that it shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy hedgerows on uncultivated land during the nesting season from 1 March to 31 August, subject to certain exceptions. It is important that, where possible, necessary work to hedgerows is carried out outside this period.
It is possible in most cases to schedule and carry out necessary work to hedgerows outside this period. The legislation makes provision for works (other than road or other construction works) to be carried out for reasons of public health and safety under the authority of any Minister or a body established by statute that lead to the destruction of vegetation. There is also a provision to enable the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government to request from the relevant Minister or body details of any such works together with a statement of the public health and safety factors involved.
It shall not be an offence to destroy vegetation in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry. Also it shall not be illegal to destroy vegetation while preparing or clearing a site for lawful building or construction works.
It is the policy of the Minister to prosecute for offences under section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976 and 2000 and successful prosecutions have been taken under this section in recent years. Members of the public are encouraged to contact their local wildlife ranger and report instances where hedgerows are being destroyed during the prohibited period.
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Please DO NOT send any live, dead or skeletal remains of any creature whatsoever to Mooney Goes Wild.
If you find an injured animal or bird, please contact the National Parks & Wildlife Service on 1890 20 20 21, or BirdWatch Ireland, on 01 281-9878, or visit www.irishwildlifematters.ie