Episode 110: StreamScapes with Mark Boyden

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In this episode, once again, we’re going to talk about environmental education. Our guest is Mark Boyden, one of the founders of the Coomhola Salmon Trust. Mark was involved in producing native salmon stocking projects for rivers in the Irish South-West and in the efforts to reintroduce salmon to the great River Rhine. He also participated in successful captive freshwater pearl mussel breeding research. Out of these programs, a biodiversity community engagement project called StreamScapes was born.

My conversation with Mark made me rethink some of my opinions on community engagement and the patterns of communication so often seen among environmentalists. Mark presented a really fresh approach and if you are in any way interested in conservation you should definitely listen to our conversation. I appreciate that you might not agree with everything we say but it is important to recognize that we need a variety of approaches to reach our goal of educating people about the importance of the natural environment and the need to protect it.

Episode 107: Remarkable Creatures with Aga Grandowicz

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In many conversations on my podcast, we have observed that long-term success in nature conservation will be impossible without engaging and educating future generations.

Today kids, like their parents, are more and more disconnected from the natural world. Even the children’s dictionary has replaced words about nature with newer words. And so acorn has been replaced with analogue, buttercup with broadband, clover with chatroom, and so on.

That’s why, if you are a conservation-minded parent who cares about the future of the natural environment and preserving it for your children, you need to take their education about the natural world into your own hands. As you should with any other topic.

To help you with this, I would like to wholeheartedly recommend a wonderful book for children, ages 10 to 15, titled “Remarkable Creatures: A Guide to Some of Ireland’s Disappearing Animals” written by Aga Grandowicz. Aga is a wildlife artist, illustrator, graphic designer and author.

On this podcast, I had a wonderful conversation with Aga about her book, her motivation to write it and her life close to nature. After listening to the podcast, visit Aga’s online store and buy the book. You might also be tempted to buy some of her artwork!


Ireland is home to thousands of amazing animals, but things are changing in our environment, and some of our remarkable creatures are struggling to survive. This book will take you on a journey of discovery, sharing fascinating facts about our most endangered species, activities to help you understand more about their habitats and tips on how you can help protect them. The future of our animals depends on our actions today – so let’s play our part and do the best we can.

Tommy’s Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk

Episode 71: The European Federation for Hunting and Conservation with David Scallan

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The European Federation for Hunting and Conservation, or FACE for short, is an international organization that represents the interests of European hunters. It serves as a bridge between the institutions of the European Union and hunters.

In episode 59 I talked with Dan Curley, the chairman of NARGC, the Irish member organization of FACE. Today, however, we’re going to talk about hunting from the European perspective, with our guest, FACE Secretary General, Dr. David Scallan.

During our conversation, we discuss the biodiversity manifesto, rewilding projects, hunting’s PR, as well as the ongoing process aimed at restricting the use of lead in field sports.

Episode 68: Rewilding, Wolves and Biodiversity with Pádraic Fogarty

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Pádraic is well known to my podcast listeners. He was our guest in episodes 20 and 35. And in episode 62 I talked with Patrick Cross about his work inspired by Pádraic’s book.

There have been many things I have wanted to talk to Pádraic about since our last podcast, which was a year and a half ago. So today I am pleased to bring you another conversation with Pádraic. We talk about rewilding, reintroduction of wolves and lynx and, last but not least, if there is a connection between the coronavirus and biodiversity loss.

Episode 62: Whittled Away, a Photography Series, with Patrick Cross

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We have talked about the book “Whittled Away – Ireland’s Vanishing Nature” twice already. In episode 20 our guest was the author, Pádraic Fogarty, who was also featured in episode 35 where I brought you the recording of his talk under the same title as the book.

Today I talk with Patrick Cross about his photographic project based on that book. We also talk about photography (the outdoors flavour), human impact on the environment and natural history.

Episode 61: African Swine Fever Awareness and Prevention with Shane McAuliffe

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The issue of African Swine Fever, ASF for short, is important for hunters and other outdoors people who might get to travel to countries with wild boar populations. In fact, all tourists travelling to and from countries where ASF is present should be aware of the basic facts and take the necessary precautions.

To raise awareness of this serious disease, I sat down with Shane McAuliffe, who is the director and secretary of the Irish Pig Health Society, to talk about ASF, what it is and what you should and shouldn’t do if you are coming back home from one of the countries where ASF is present.

Episode 54: The National Biodiversity Data Centre with Dave Wall

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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 48: Green Party with Pippa Hackett

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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 43: Sinn Féin with Toiréasa Ferris

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You probably look at the title of this podcast and wonder what is going on? So I feel like a little disclaimer is in order. It is far from my intention to be canvassing for one political party or another. Instead, I want outdoors enthusiasts to be aware of how their support for various political options might impact the activities they love.

I hope this will be the first of many podcasts in which I get to talk with representatives of different political parties and ask questions about issues that are of vital interest to outdoorsmen and women. In this episode we talk about the protection of the natural environment, tackling biodiversity loss and climate change, greenways and cycling infrastructure, farming, land access, overfishing, the role of NGOs and much more.

Finally, if you or someone you know is a member of a political party who would be happy to sit down with me for an hour and talk, please do not hesitate to contact me through one of the many channels available. I would love to continue the series and inform fellow outdoors-people about the views of different political parties and their representatives towards the issues important to us.