Mooney Goes Wild Sunday 29 October 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!

Mooney Goes Wild

Mooney Goes Wild

Derek Mooney and guests explore the natural world in all its forms.


We have three copies of Zoe Devlin's new book 'Blooming Marvelous: A Wildflower Hunter's Year' are up for grabs.  


The famous 17th century herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, wrote the following about a pretty plant with white, lilac-tinted flowers:  

"If the herb was but as much used as it is neglected, it would half spoil the spectacle maker's trade."  

Which plant is it?

To enter e-mail to submit your answer along with your name and address. 

Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 29/10/17

On MGW tonight: Irish Woman Lynn Clifford, Conservationist In Malawi; Zoë Devlin; Green Flag School...

Irish Woman Lynn Clifford, Conservationist In Malawi

To a subject we’ve covered on this show many times before and that’s the illegal wildlife trade. It’s the fourth most lucrative transnational crime after drugs, arms, and human trafficking, and it’s threatening some of the world’s most iconic species with extinction.

About two hours drive east of Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe, close to that natural wonder, Lake Malawi, lies the Thuma Forest reserve one of the few reserves in the country which is still home to elephants and buffalo, as well as many other species, including a variety of birds, insects, trees and plants.

Deep within that forest, some several kilometres along a dirt road, lies a base camp for conservationists. They’re called the ‘Wildlife Action Group’ and their director just happens to be an Irish woman.

Lynn Clifford is originally from Swords in County Dublin and, on a recent visit to her family in Ireland, she met with Richard Collins at his home in Malahide...

Barak, one of the bull elephants at the camp

For further information about the organisation, please visit

Zoë Devlin

Zoë Devlin describes herself as the unofficial ambassador for weeds, wasps and wagtails.  What began as a childhood delight grew into a wildflower hobby and then blossomed into an enduring passion.  She has been stuck in bogs, knee deep in ditches, battered by wind and hammered by rain... all for that one elusive moment the moment when her heart skips a beat as she finally finds the flower she’s been longing for.

An absolutely passionate botanist, Zoë’s new book is a joy to behold.  In Blooming Marvellous: A Wildflower Hunter’s Year, she recalls her dream discoveries, interweaving tales from her own green-tinted life.  Eanna ni Lamhna recently met Zoë for a beautiful autumnal walk, deep within the County Wicklow countryside, with both botanists keeping a beady eye out for any beguiling plants along the way...

To find out more about Zoë Devlin please click here:

Green Flag School

An Taisce Green-Schools initiative is a fantastic success story with most schools in Ireland now participating. The programme was developed in 1994 on the basis of the need to involve young people in finding solutions to environmental and sustainable development challenges at a local level. And in return, schools participating have a chance to achieve the mark of distinction of a Green Flag Award.

Well, flying that very flag in County Louth this week were the proud students and teachers at the Presentation Primary School for Girls in Drogheda. An extraordinary achievement as it’s the sixth Green Flag that this eco conscious school has been honoured with. And this time round the theme was biodiversity.

Guests of honour for the raising of the prestigious flag were none other than "Yours Truly" and the World President of Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations, Philip McCabe .

Green schools committee with their Fifth flag for Biodiversity


Philip McCabe



Fiona White Philip McCabe & Nora Molloy


Green Flag Number 5 for biodiversity presentation primary school Drogehda



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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