Derek talks to the Cork student who has developed a 'Zero-discharge wastewater treatment' using Willow trees, Terry Flanagan celebrates Potato Day tomorrow, and Katriona McFadden reports from Co. Mayo where a new project is "re-wilding" 11,000 hectares of wilderness!
Big Mountain Productions, who make The Genealogy Roadshow, have been in touch to let us know that due to the weather in Northern Ireland, it has been decided to reschedule the Derry Roadshow to Saturday, April 20th 2013, for public safety.
We all know that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland and that indeed he left the country in such a state that snakes could never live here even if they inadvertently arrived. Why, Giraldus Cambrensis - the gullible lackey of King John, who came here on a fact-finding mission in the twelfth century – was solemnly told that there were no amphibians, snakes or reptiles in Ireland. In fact the tale was embellished with the ‘fact’ that when anything venomous was brought here from other lands it never could exist in Ireland.
Research student Fergus McAuliffe is a man with us who is on a mission! He wants to revolutionise our septic tanks, and get rid of our waste water. How exactly, you might ask? By planting willow trees!
Fergus is a Postgrad student in the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEES) at UCC, and he joins Derek, Richard and Eanna today from our Cork studio to explain more...
A huge area of Mayo (110 square kilometres to be precise!) has been designated as a ‘wilderness area’ - a place that will be totally wild and unmanaged. Mooney Goes Wild’s Katriona McFadden went to some beauty spots in the proposed Nephin Wilderness Project, and met some of those behind the project, including Bill Murphy, Head of Recreation and Environment in Coillte… For more information about the project, click here.
This Saturday is Potato Day, which is being celebrated at Sonairte, the Ecology Centre in Laytown, Co. Meath and which will be open to the public.
So what is a Potato Day?
It is a dedicated day when lovers and growers of the humble spud gather together to look, learn, eat and buy the tubers to plant for the new growing season. Over two hundred varieties are grown in Ireland nowadays. There will be over 100 varieties of potato on display over the weekend and there will be over 20 varieties for sale from the most modern to some of the oldest, with white, gold, blue, purple & black skins, and white, yellow, blue & red flesh. There will be heritage varieties from Ireland, Scotland, the UK, France, the USA & Mexico. Most of these potatoes are organic and all are certified disease free.
Terry Flanagan went to Laytown to find out more from Trevor Sargent, Chairperson of Sonairte.
There is a worry out there that swallows are on the decline. Have you seen any recently? Declan Manley has been observing swallows for over 20 years at his farm in Edenderry, and he joins us from his home in Offaly to tell us what he has recorded...
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