Scientists in Galway are attempting to eavesdrop on the sounds Arctic char make during courtship in the hope of protecting this threatened fish
Irish Times, 1 May 2014
What does the fish say? New research at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) aims to shed light on just how vocal a unique Irish fish is. Biologists hope to discover whether Arctic char, a deepwater inhabitant of Irish lakes, vocalise. during courtship and spawning.
Researchers hope that, by recording char in the lab, they can use its unique call to pinpoint where it spawns in lakes in the hope of offering it better protection.
Walking the Grand Canal Way across the bogs of Offaly
Irish Times, 26 April 2014
I left Tullamore on a proper Irish spring morning: icy wind on my face, warm sun on my back. My plan was to follow the Grand Canal Way west through the boggy heart of the midlands.
Step into the exotic at Massey’s Wood
Irish Times, 22 March 2014
Heading through Dublin’s southern suburbs towards the mountains, I’m always buoyed by how quickly city turns to country. My curiosity piques as housing estates fade into small fields, wooded lanes and ramshackle farmyards.
Massy’s Estate lies just beyond the reach of the city, south of Rathfarnham. From the outside it appears a typical wood, but look closer and you’ll find something much more exotic.
Walk the Sligo Way through woods, hills and lakeshore
Irish Times, January 25 2014
Hiding between the wild coastlands of Mayo and Donegal, Sligo’s landscape is less dramatic but more lush and green. Benbulbin draws most of the county’s plaudits, so other hills are forgotten. The 78km Sligo Way traverses the county’s less trodden, boggy uplands. I wanted to spend a day exploring it, so headed for the village of Collooney.
A ramble around the woods and shoreline west of Galway City
Irish Times, December 28, 2013
If you’re like me, the idea of hillwalking the day after Christmas festivities is a tough proposition: my legs are leaden and I am in danger of dozing off mid-walk. Perhaps this time of year lends itself more to sauntering than hiking.
Ireland has designated its first national wilderness: a vast area of mountain, bog and forest on the country’s wild west coast. But is a real ‘backcountry’ experience possible on such a small island?
The Great Outdoors magazine, December 2013
Exploring the trails in the Burren National Park
Irish Times, November 16, 2013
Words such as barren and bleak are used to describe the Burren so often, you could be fooled into believing them. Sure the region’s limestone plains can feel desolate, but on a bright day the Burren proliferates colour: silver rock, lime valleys, turquoise water. That’s before you add the summer orchids and wildflowers. And if you walk the Burren National Park you’ll see a rich mix of habitats – woodland, meadow, pavement, scrub, lake, fen.
A long stroll beside one of Ireland’s most legendary rivers
Irish Times, Oct 19, 2013
Walking a riverbank gives you new perspective on a landscape. While climbing a mountain opens the land up around you, walking a quiet waterway hides you from the world. The river becomes your own private highway through the countryside. Was any Irish river historically more important than the Boyne?
Wild Nephin project aims to create 27,000 acres of unique wilderness landscape
Earth Island Journal, October 16, 2013
The Nephin Beg mountain range rises on Ireland’s western coast and stretches 20 miles into the sparsely populated northwest of County Mayo. This is a landscape of boglands and heath-covered mountains, battered by Atlantic winds and rain. The only forests here are stands of Lodgepole pine and Sitka spruce, planted in an attempt to wrestle economic gain from the unproductive soil.
A stroll through one of Co Dublin’s oldest woodlands
Irish Times, Sept 14, 2013
There’s so little old woodland in Ireland it feels like an exotic habitat. Trees once covered our island, but today walking in woods is a novelty compared to walking on hills, beaches or bog. I was browsing a study of ancient Irish woodlands recently, hoping to discover those last places this primeval landscape survives and came across one listing for Dublin: St Catherine’s Wood, Lucan.