The robin, not the turkey, is the real Christmas bird; you'll find him on cards, cakes and Christmas trees. But is Robin Redbreast having us on? Is he really the friendly and gentle little fellow he seems? Does he deserve his special Christmas place? Dr. Richard Collins, scientific adviser to Mooney Goes Wild, investigates! To read more about this special documentary, and to listen to the programme, click here.
On Mooney Goes Wild this afternoon, live from Scotland:
We hear about plans to bring wolves back to the Scottish Highlands and why ramblers aren’t happy. Richard Collins takes a look at fossils from a 330 million year old shark and Eanna Ni Lamhna finds out why wild beavers are thriving around the River Tay...
Mooney has teamed up with the Sunday World (www.sundayworld.com) to give one very special couple a second honeymoon! We looked for Ireland's favourite couple - and that couple could win a dream trip to San Francisco, worth a whopping €10,000!!!
The winning couple will be revealed in the Sunday World on December 22nd, and on Mooney on Christmas Day. Good luck to everybody who entered!
The ninth concert in our hugely popular series of Mooney Tunes will be a variety Christmas concert with various singers and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Listeners requests will be read out and their songs will be played. There will be love songs, songs you will sing along to, beautiful classical music and lots of Christmassy tunes to get you in the festive mood a week before Christmas!
The Mooney Tunes concerts have been extremely successful, and tickets often sell-out within hours of going on sale.
The benefit of buying the tickets in person at the theatre box office is that there is no service charge to pay. Tickets are priced from €14.50 and go up to €20, €28, €34 and €39.50, depending on where you are sitting.
Tickets are also on sale online from Ticketmaster.ie, Ticketmaster outlets and from the Ticketmaster phonelines:
Tickets bought from Ticketmaster.ie online or on the phone are subject to a 12.5% service charge so, for example, that would make the €14.50 ticket, the cheapest ticket, €16.60. If you buy your tickets in person from a Ticketmaster outlet there will be a €2.50 flat fee service charge, and there is no service charge whatsoever if you buy them in person at the box office here at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre.
But whichever way you choose to get your tickets for Mooney Tunes 9, we suggest that you do it as soon as possible after 3pm, when they go on sale! It's the perfect pre-Christmas concert - but tickets will go early, so get yours as soon as you can to avoid disappointment! For more information about the concert, visit www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie/index.php/artist/mooney-tunes.
Bearsden Shark At The Hunterian Museum
Derek and Richard meet Dr. Neil Clark, Curator of Palaeontology at the Hunterian Museum, in the University of Glasgow. Neil is an expert on the Bearsden Shark...
The 'Bearsden Shark' is the most complete shark of its age. Found by Stan Wood while walking his dog by a stream in the north west of Glasgow, this 330 million year old shark has a strange, toothed fin-spine behind its head. We can only guess at its purpose...
Dr. Richard Collins and Dr. Neil Clark
Foetus specimen in the Hunterian Museum
Dr. Richard Collins In The Hunterian Museum, Glasgow
If you click on the above link, you'll be able to listen back to a 2001 documentary about the reintroduction of the Golden Eagle to Ireland. In the documentary, Richard Collins chats with John Marsh, project leader on the look-out for the majestic bird of prey in the Highlands of Wester Ross in Scotland.
In fact, the Golden Eagles which are now seen in Irish skies have come from Scotland.
And, guess what? In a competition run by Scottish National Heritage and Visit Scotland to find the country’s favourite wild animal, which animal do you think came out on top? That’s right, the Golden Eagle!
Professor Des Thompson, is Principal Adviser on Biodiversity with Scottish National Heritage, and he joins us from the BBC's studios in Edinburgh...
Myth and superstition surround a lot of animals, but very few animals over the centuries have suffered as much vilification as the wolf. We all grew up with fairytales like 'Little Red Riding Hood', and its villain, the big bad Wolf. We've had the story of the Wolf in sheep's clothing, the boy who cried Wolf. And in the 20th century, werewolves have proved hugely fascinating for fiction writers and movie directors alike.
It's fair to say that mankind's relationship with wolves over the centuries has been "turbulent". In Ireland, the last Wolf was reportedly killed in 1786, near Mount Leinster in County Carlow. But to hear the wonderful call of the wild world today, you would have to travel a lot further than Ireland.
If you click on the above link, you'll be able to listen back to Eric Dempsey's 2004 documentary Wolf: Spirit Of The Wild.
In Scotland, official records indicate that the last wolf was killed almost 100 years earlier, by Sir Ewan Cameron in 1680 in Killiecrankie, in Perthshire.
However, if our next guest has his way, they will be back very soon, roaming freely around his land. And Paul Lister man has a lot of land - 23,000 acres, in fact!
He tells us why he wants to reintroduced wolves back into Scotland...
One body who’re not so keen on Paul’s plans to reintroduce wolves to his Alladale Wilderness Reserve are Ramblers Scotland, who work to promote walking and safeguard public access to land in Scotland. Helen Todd is Campaigns and Policy Manager with Ramblers Scotland, and she also joins us to tell us about their objections...
The organisation that Paul founded is called The European Nature Trust. It was set up in 2001 to help preserve and restore the last remaining areas of wilderness and degraded habitats in Europe - for more information, visit www.theeuropeannaturetrust.com.
Hedgerows: It is an offence 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'. For more information, click here.
UPDATE: February 29th 2016 - Press Release From BirdWatch Ireland:
Putting the record straight: Dates for burning and hedge-cutting have NOT changed
BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland’s largest conservation charity, is very concerned about misinformation that is currently circulating regarding the dates within which the burning of vegetation and cutting of hedges is permitted. It would like to remind landowners that all burning and cutting must cease on 29th February this year and that burning and cutting remains prohibited from 1st March to 31st August.
Despite attempts by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., to change the laws regulating these dates by introducing the Heritage Bill 2016 earlier this year, it is important to note that the proposed date changes were ultimately NOT made. This is because the bill failed to pass through both houses of the Oireachtas before the recent dissolution of the Dáil in advance of the general election.
The laws in place governing the dates for hedge-cutting and upland burning therefore remain unchanged. The period within which cutting and burning is prohibited are set down in Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976 (as amended in 2000), which states that:
(a) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy, during the period beginning on the 1st day of March and ending on the 31st day of August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.
(b) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch during the period mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection (above).
The existing law provides exemptions for road safety and other circumstances and should be read carefully to ensure compliance.
Section 40 of the Wildlife Act exists to protect nesting birds. Many of our upland bird species are in decline and are in danger of extinction in Ireland; amongst them is the Curlew, which has declined by 80%. Many birds which nest in hedgerows into August are also in serious decline, including the endangered Yellowhammer. The changes to the cutting and burning dates which had been proposed in the now-defunct Heritage Bill 2016 would have caused serious impacts to these birds. A petition launched by BirdWatch Ireland in conjunction with several other national conservation organisations to stop these changes attracted more than 16,200 signatures and rising.
BirdWatch Ireland would also like to advise members of the public that if they see hedges being cut or fires in the uplands on or after 1st March, such activity could be illegal. In such cases, we would encourage people to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service (www.npws.ie) to report such activity.
BirdWatch Ireland warmly welcomes the demise of the Heritage Bill 2016 and sincerely hopes that any future administration will consider the importance of Ireland’s natural heritage and will not attempt to reintroduce such a flawed and damaging piece of legislation.
To contact your local wildlife ranger, click here for contact details. To read the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, click here.
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