Episode 54: The National Biodiversity Data Centre with Dave Wall

Many of us outdoors people like to keep records of the animal and fish species we have encountered, caught or seen during our time in the outdoors. To keep those records we use spreadsheets, databases, dedicated apps and, perhaps, a pen and paper if you’re a little old-timey chap. As it turns out, there is a website that can not only help you record and explore your sightings but also include your data in the national dataset that is used by scientists. This website is operated by The National Biodiversity Data Centre and, in this episode of the podcast, our guest is their Citizen Science Officer, Dave Wall.

Episode 51: Fighting Illegal Salmon Netting with Bertie Brosnan

In this episode you will hear a fascinating account about one man who has spent most of his life fighting illegal salmon netting in the rivers and estuaries of the Irish South West. His name is Bertie Brosnan and he has joined me with his son Dan to tell his fascinating story. But be warned, it is not for the fainthearted. You will hear about personal sacrifice, threats, damaged property, court sentences and shots fired.

There is a lot more than we could possibly fit into roughly an hour-long podcast and we only scratched the surface. That’s why we might get back to this tale in the future. Please leave your comments if you would like us to dig deeper.

Episode 48: Green Party with Pippa Hackett

This is another episode of the podcast where I talk with the representative of a political party. The goal is, as always, to dig a little deeper into some of the issues affecting the outdoors lifestyle. This time our guest is Pippa Hackett who is a Green Party Councillor and a spokesperson on Agriculture, Food, Forestry, Heritage & Animal Welfare.

Once again I want to include the disclaimer that it is not my intention to promote any political party. Instead, I want outdoors enthusiasts to be aware of how their support for a particular option might impact the activities they love.

Episode 47: The killing of hen harriers on grouse moors

Hen harriers are ground-nesting birds of prey whose UK population is in critical condition. Unfortunately, time after time we hear that a hen harrier has been killed illegally on grouse moors, a heavily-managed grouse habitat used for driven grouse shooting. In this episode, I discuss this hot issue with a field sports journalist Matt Cross.

Episode 46: Shark Trust with Ali Hood

You have probably heard a dozen times that I am a semi-retired, obsessive, shark angler. So, ever since I started the podcast I wanted, one day, to have an episode with someone from the Shark Trust. Well, that day is today. Our guest is Ali Hood the Director of Conservation in Shark Trust and we spent over an hour talking sharks!

It was especially important for me to talk with Ali about the role of anglers in shark conservation. We also discussed three species of sharks that I am particularly interested in from an angling perspective: porbeagle shark, sixgill shark and mako shark. But we discussed much more than that and all of it very interesting.

So if you want to learn about sharks and shark conservation, crack open a can of your favourite beverage, sit back and listen up.

Episode 40: Pleistocene Megafauna with Richard Doran Sherlock

This episode of the podcast is going to take you back in time to the Pleistocene epoch of the Quaternary period, an epoch often referred to as the Ice Age. Our guest is Richard Doran Sherlock who has a particular interest in Quaternary science and megafaunal collapse. Over the years Richard has worked in many capacities including research for rewilding projects and not-for-profit groups.

Since I also have a keen interest in natural history I was really glad when Richard accepted my invitation to the podcast. So, it is my pleasure to present to you an episode where we talk about Pleistocene megafauna and have a healthy discussion about what might have caused its extinction. We also touch briefly on rewilding, a topic to which we may devote an episode of its own.

Cover photo by Ciaran McNamee