Mooney Goes Wild, Sunday October 8th 2017

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Caring For Wild Animals

Please note that many species of mammals, birds, invertebrates etc... are protected under law and that, even with the best of intentions, only someone holding a relevant licence from the National Parks & Wildlife Service should attempt the care of these animals.  For full details, please click here to read the NPWS Checklist of protected & rare species in Ireland.  If you are concerned about a wild animal, please contact your local wildlife ranger - click here for details.

Events & Listings

Click here for a full list of events taking place around the country, and movies currently on release, which might be of interest to wildlife lovers!

On Mooney Goes Wild tonight: The Wildlife Of The Wooden Bridge

On Mooney Goes Wild tonight: The Wildlife Of The Wooden Bridge

We want to take you for a walk, on a Dublin saunter, to a place that Derek has been coming to for the past few months: the Wooden Bridge that links North Bull Island in Dublin Bay to the mainland.  The Bull Island, as it's known informally, is a nature lover’s paradise - a magnificent sandbank about 5km long and 800m wide, which has not only national, but worldwide significance for its incredible birds, mammals, flora and insect life.

North Bull Island is a specially protected area and, almost forty years ago, it was designated by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve.  Not only that, but it’s the only one of its kind in the Europe, possibly in the world, because it lies within the heart of a capital city.

On this very special walk, we discover the exceptionally rich wildlife along our way, in the company of some old friends!  If you were to walk along the Wooden Bridge, you can see the exact measurement markings clearly engraved on the wood beneath your feet - and at every one of those, we meet one of our Mooney Goes Wild regulars; Richard Collins, Terry Flanagan, Eanna ni Lamhna and Niall Hatch are those providing us with an even greater understanding and appreciation of this rare treasure which lies right on our very doorstep...

At the finish line: the Realt na Mara (Star Of The Sea) Statue - from left to right: Derek Mooney, Eanna ni Lamhna, Terry Flanagan, RIchard Collins and Niall Hatch

More Pictures From The Wooden Bridge

Left: Niamh ni Cholmain, Community Liason Officer with Dublin City Council - Dublin Bay is a UNESCO Biosphere; right: Niamh with Sea Scouts

Left: some of the litter that can unfortunately be seen in the vicinity; right: sign reminding walkers to keep dogs on leads

To see more pictures from this Wooden Bridge programme recording, please visit our Flickr Album from the day!

Useful Links

Dublin Bay Biosphere

Dublin City Parks

BirdWatch Ireland

Wildlife Of The North Bull Island

Birds Of The Bull Island

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 ( 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


***Download the Dawn Chorus 2017 podcasts***

Dawn Chorus 2017 - First Hour - 00:00 - 01:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Second Hour - 01:00 - 02:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Third Hour - 02:00 - 03:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Fourth Hour - 03:00 - 04:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Fifth Hour - 04:00 - 05:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Sixth Hour - 05:00 - 06:00



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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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