Mooney Goes Wild, Sunday November 5th 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...

Award-winning wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson shares his experience of filming in some of the wildest places on earth with Derek and panelists Dr. Richard Collins and Dr. Ken Whelan.  We chat to Orla Doherty, one of the producers of BBC Television’s spectacular Blue Planet II series.  And Eanna ni Lamhna learns how an art installation is revealing microscopic magic in the Trinity Trees Project...

Colin Stafford-Johnson On Tour

Colin Stafford-Johnson is one of Ireland’s most loved wildlife cameramen.  This multi-award-winning cinematographer and wildlife expert is perhaps best known here for series including Wild Ireland, Living The Wildlife and The Secret Life Of The Shannon.

Colin has of course travelled the world with the BBC, PBS in the United States and National Geographic amongst others – but it was for Crossing The Line and RTÉ’s The Secret Life Of The Shannon (or On A River In Ireland, as it was named for international distribution), that he scooped the 'Oscar' of wildlife film-making at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in Wyoming in 2013 (for more information on this fabulous achievement, click here).

Colin is about to embark on a nationwide tour, where audiences can enjoy evenings of hair-raising stories about 25 years filming in some of the wildest places left on earth.  He joins Derek, Richard and Ken in studio tonight to chat about some of the amazing wildlife experiences that he's been fortunate enough to witness...

Colin's Tour Dates

Monday, November 6th - GALWAY, Town Hall Theatre

Tuesday, November 7th - KERRY, INEC, Killarney

Wednesday, November 8th - WEXFORD, St. Michael’s Theatre, New Ross

Thursday, November 9th - CLARE, Glor Theatre, Ennis

Saturday, November 11th - MONAGHAN, The Garage Theatre

Tuesday, November 14th - CORK, Everyman Theatre

Wednesday, November 15th - KILDARE, Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge

Thursday, November 16th - DUBLIN, Axis, Ballymun

Friday, November 17th - WESTPORT - Westport Town Hall

Saturday, November 18th - CARLOW, Visual Arts

Monday, November 20th - Strabane, The Alley Theatre

Tuesday, November 21st - SLIGO, Hawk’s Well Theatre

Wednesday, November 22nd - WATERFORD, Theatre Royal

For further information on Colin Stafford-Johnson and his tour, visit his Facebook page.

Blue Planet II

Last Sunday, the much-anticipated BBC natural history series Blue Planet II hit our screens, sixteen years after the mesmerising first series Blue Planet I.  The new series has been four years in the making, and is wonderfully produced to show dazzling discoveries of marine life.  In last week’s show, Trevally fish were filmed hunting birds for the very first time, in an extraordinary piece of footage...

The series continued on BBC One tonight, in an episode titled 'The Deep', which looked at the deep sea - the biggest habitat on Earth.

It’s sometimes called the "inner space"; just one part of it, the Abyssal plain, covers more than half of the planet’s surface.  More people have been to the moon than have been to the deepest parts of our oceans.  Whole species of creatures living there remain unnamed - many more are still undiscovered with vast areas uncharted.

Orla Doherty is one of the producers of Blue Planet II, and she - along with a BBC film crew - has spent more than 1,000 hours in manned submersibles for the series.  She produced tonight’s episode about the Deep, and joins us Derek, Richard, Ken and Colin Stafford-Johnson from the BBC Studios in Bristol...

For more information about Blue Planet II, click here or visit  The series is broadcast on Sunday nights on BBC One at 8pm, with repeats from the previous week also on Sundays (so for example if you missed this evening's episode, 'The Deep', which was produced by Orla, then you can watch it on BBC One next Sunday, November 12th, at 16:55 - for full listings, click here).

Trinity Trees Project

It’s that time of year again when trees undergo their Autumnal transformation – with greens turning a wonderful, warm and rich array of brown, red, yellow and orange tones.  And whilst this perennially vibrant explosion of colour is abundantly visible, Trinity College in Dublin is inviting us to take a closer look at the magic WITHIN our trees.

Some of the Trinity Trees; images: Olivia Hassett

The primary objective of the Trinity Trees Project is to showcase fascinating, microscopic elements through the creation of a series of innovative artworks – installed in eight trees – spread throughout the campus.  It's part-performance, part-exhibition and part-guided audio tour – and it plans to alter how visitors see the trees in their own neighbourhoods.  Eanna ni Lamhna went along to TCD to check it out...

Trinity Trees Exhibition project team at Probe at Trinity College Dublin

The Trinity College Trees Project is open to the public until Sunday, November 12th.  For more information about the Trinity College Trees Project, or download exhibition walk audio guides, click here.

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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