In Our Nature

This is the first programme in the In Our Nature series , in which we are going to see some gorgeous wild places across the North West of Ireland through the keen eyes of a group of scientists, experts and enthusiasts. They will uncover what it is that makes them so special, reveal the wonder of the nature that they shelter and to see how they are faring in our changing environment. While we’re there we’ll also see how they offer a haven for us humans too – getting a glimpse into how they sustain us and we can do to sustain them.

Rivers: Episode 1
This week, in the first episode of In Our Nature, we walk the shores of Lough Gill with ecologist Saoirse O’Donoghue to discover how the beautiful woodland along the bank helps to keep our water clean and support wildlife from mayfly and frogs to wild salmon and otter. We join an inspirational group of dragons on the water, with Clodagh Flynn and Medb’s Dragon Boat paddlers and we hear about a pilot project to encourage native plants in the clear cool waters of Lough Arrow, famed for its trout fishery.

Soil: Episode 2
This week In Our Nature goes underground to look at the fascinating world of the microscopic life teeming in our soils with soil scientist, Aga Piwowarczyc, and we stretch our imaginations with the Soil Collective’s children’s theatre project.

Boglands: Episode 3
In Our Nature soaks up the ethereal atmosphere of our peatlands, on a trip to Lough Easkey with ecologist Derek McLoughlin and a visit to The Canopy’s big restoration project nearby. We hear how sphagnum moss was exported to the frontlines during WWI, discover carnivorous flowers, and hear about the incredible carbon busting power of our forgotten bogs – while exploring a future-focussed project to support farmers in upland areas to contribute to Ireland’s decarbonisation.

Forest: Episode 4
At one time it was said that a squirrel could travel from one side of Ireland to the other through the tree-tops without ever touching the ground. However today Ireland is one of the least forested countries in Europe – something that is being addressed so that we can reduce our carbon emissions. Today we are going to marvel at what our trees bring us in their own right, for climate change, biodiversity and our own well being. We’ll visit a pocket of ancient hazel woodland in South Sligo, the almost unnoticed alluvial woodland that graces the banks of the Garavogue River and join the Power to Change project’s community day at the inspiring native woodland park, in Cloonamahon.

Coasts: Episode 5
For the fifth programme in our series we are taking in Minecraft, marram grass and marvelling at how natural features like dunes and nature based solutions can protect our coasts. With clean coasts and the innovative SCORE research project from ATU, we will see how communities living by the coast are being equipped to deal sustainably with impacts of climate change such as more severe storms and increases in sea levels, through citizen science, nature and new technologies.

Grasslands: Episode 6
Ireland’s forty shades of green have been a defining feature of our home for centuries. However this iconic image is not created simply by green grass – it’s a patchwork of different colours and textures created by rushes, sedges, hay meadows and pretty delicate flowers. In this episode, ecologists Dolores Byrne and Derek McLoughlin discuss how farmers in the North West can keep their green fields healthy and reveal how the wonderful diversity of our grasslands can help us to adapt to changes brought about by climate change.

All episodes of In Our Nature are available on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.Thanks for listening!