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 today, with Olan McGowan...
Rachel Doyle, the first Irish president of the International Garden Centre Association will be in studio - as will Michael Sheridan, with all the latest motoring news. And Bláthnaid ni Chofaigh sees the capital from a different angle as she cruises across Dublin Bay...
Olan is joined in studio this afternoon by RTÉ motoring correspondent Michael Sheridan, to discuss some of the latest developments in the motoring world, including the new N plates for drivers who pass their driving test that come into effect tomorrow, new NCT changes, penalty points being increased for some offences, driverless cars, cyclist-friendly trucks and 'Geo-fencing'!
Annual Congress Of The International Garden Centres Association
The weather is warm and overcast, in Dublin anyway - perfect weather for doing a spot of gardening! But if your garden is looking a little 'drier' and 'crispier' than usual, help is at hand...
Rachel Doyle joins Olan in studio this afternoon. Rachel is the Managing Director of the Arboretum Garden Centre in Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow and is also the President of the International Garden Centres Association, the first Irish President in fact!
She’s a busy lady as she’s also the woman responsible for bringing their Congress to Ireland in two weeks time when 230 Garden Centre Owners from 21 different countries will descend on Ireland.
She joins Olan to chat about the Annual Congress, tell us about productive plants that help us become better workers - and to answer your gardening questions!
If you have gardening questions for Rachel, you can text them to 51551 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The product that Rachel mentions to help keep potted plants moist is called Swell Gel (www.swellgel.co.uk).
The Arboretum in Carlow
The Arboretum Home & Garden Heaven, in Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow, is a family run business on a ten-acre site, employing 76 staff. For further information, including directions to get there, please visit www.arboretum.ie.
PRESS RELEASE: Productive Plants - Desk plants proven to increase employee productivity and reduce stress
We all know that plants have many great benefits, including being good for the environment, creating clean air, healing properties etc. but a study* has revealed that our green friends can in fact have more of an impact on our daily lives than we first thought! Plants have now been proven to be a contributing factor to increased employee productivity – the study shows that those who have plants on or around their desks respond positively and it is reflected in their work productivity.
According to a study by Helen Russell**, not only do plants have the ability to improve the air quality indoors, they can also reduce stress which, in turn increases productivity. This study showed that those in an environment surrounded by plants suffered from a lower level of stress than those in an area without. It was also discovered that those in an area with plants, recovered quicker from stressful scenarios and situations than those without, meaning they could get back to work more efficiently.
Focus and attention span were other aspects investigated in a Journal of Environmental Horticulture*** study. It was found that indoor plants aided employees to complete their work more efficiently and with more focus and that productivity increased by 12%.
* The NASA 'Clean Air Study'
**Helen Russell, Surrey University
*** Journal of Environmental Horticulture, Washington State University Study
Here are just some plants recommended as office or desk plants:
This one is perfect for counter tops or high shelves due to its low maintenance nature and fondness of shade – it will even survive in your windowless cubicle!
Proven to be one of the top plants for purifying the air and getting rid of excess carbon dioxide, the philodendron only needs to be watered about twice a week and therefore is the perfect office companion.
This is a great indoor plant – not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it is also a great source of clean air. A study carried out by NASA showed that this peaceful plant improves air quality in its surrounding environment.
These pretty perennials hail from the Mexican deserts and are used to warm, indoor climates. Not only are they attractive to look at, they are both disease and pest resistant and require little watering – in fact, the most common cause of death for Yucca’s is by over-watering.
Cacti are a well established member of the team when it comes to office plants! These prickly plants are often seen on window sills and desks in workplaces due to their near self-sufficient nature. Just water them occasionally and make sure no one pricks themselves on their spikes.
The Annual Congress of the International Garden Centres Association is an annual Congress held for one week between August and October, each year in a different host country. This comprises of a business meeting, which elects officals and administers the affairs of the Association, a concentrated business study tour and an excellent social programme. For further information, click here.
This morning, our reporter Bláthnaid ni Chofaigh went cruising around Dublin - literally! Dublin Bay Cruises sail once a day from Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Dublin City Centre, seven days a week. Bláthnaid hopped on board to find out more about the cruises...
The Tour de France has just finished, an epic race, which dates back 101 years. Last year, 2013, was the centenary. But on Friday, another epic cycle will get underway here in Ireland. The journey will take the entire month of August, and it will cover 3200 km, all around the coast of Ireland.
But it will feature just one cyclist, who happens to be a very good friend of Mooney Goes Wild!
That cyclist is Dr. Liam Lysaght, director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Waterford. He sets off tomorrow, August 1st, from the National Biodiversity Data Centre, and over the course of the month, will cycle through fourteen of Ireland's counties. He joins us this afternoon from RTÉ's Waterford studio...
We are organising a singles night out for our listeners who are over 35! The where and when is still being finalised, but if you are interested in joining in the fun, then send us an e-mail! Let us know your age, gender, and if you are single. You must be available to travel to the venue at your own expense. Please send your e-mail to email@example.com, with the subject line 'Singles Night Out'. And keep listening for further information!
Search For A Child Star Finalists
Earlier this year, we launched our competition to find Ireland's newest child star. The competition was open to boys and girls who were aged 10 years old or under. We asked you to record a piece that was no more than three minutes long, and e-mail it in to us.
The finalists, in no particular order, are:
- Hannah Kinsella (9 years old, from Lucan, Co. Dublin) with Pushover - Nikki Brown (8 years old, from Saggart, Co. Dublin) with Colours Of The Wind - Anna Lily Fox (6 years old, from Ballinalee, Co. Longford) with a Johnny Cash medley - Laoise Farrell (9 years old, from Ogonnolloe. Co. Clare) with The Call - Alannah Bermingham (10 years old, from Kilmacud, Dublin) with Colours Of The Wind
The date for the final will be announced shortly and the winner will perform at our Christmas Mooney Tunes concert.
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