natural history

The good old ways: nature’s best chance of recovery

15 June 2024 9:00 am

Traditional agricultural methods still operating in pockets of Europe maintain an enviable balance of ecology and economy and an extraordinary diversity of wildlife

Why must we be in constant battle with the ocean?

8 June 2024 9:00 am

As we continue to fill the depths with plastic and radioactive waste, our coastlines are increasingly battered by tsunamis and erosion

The traditional British hedge is fast vanishing

11 May 2024 9:00 am

The best hedges teem with the biodiversity that plays such a vital part in our future. Yet, since the 1950s, farmers and developers have been destroying them at an alarming rate

The rat as hero

6 April 2024 9:00 am

After adopting two baby rats as pets, Joe Shute slowly overcomes his aversion and learns to appreciate the intelligence of creatures that are really quite like us

Would we welcome bears in Britain again?

19 August 2023 9:00 am

With rewilding projects multiplying worldwide, brown, black and grizzly bears are making a bold comeback. But how much bear can we bear?

The wonder of the marine world is in serious danger

8 July 2023 9:00 am

The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna has the misfortune to taste so good that it has been hunted for millennia, and stocks are now dangerously depleted

The amazing aerial acrobatics of swifts

27 May 2023 9:00 am

Over the course of one midsummer’s day, Mark Cocker presents a startling picture of the breeding, feeding, fledging and migrating habits of these little dynamos of life

Why Ronald Blythe is so revered

22 October 2022 9:00 am

Ronald Blythe, the celebrated author of Akenfield, is to turn 100 next month, and to mark his centenary a beguiling…

Fish that swim backwards – and other natural wonders

25 June 2022 9:00 am

With the technologies at our disposal, we can in fact now know what it’s like to be a bat, says Caspar Henderson

The catastrophe that allowed mammals to reign supreme

4 June 2022 9:00 am

Humans are so comfortable with their self-declared dominance over the rest of life, appointing themselves titular head of an entire…

Adapt or die: what the natural world can teach us about climate change

29 January 2022 9:00 am

Climate change may be the central challenge of our century, but almost all attention has focused on its consequences for…

The march of the larch: the Treeline is now encroaching on the arctic tundra

15 January 2022 9:00 am

Covering 20 per cent of the Earth’s surface, the boreal forest is the largest living system, or ‘biome’, on land.…

The slippery stuff of slime: should we loathe it so much?

13 November 2021 9:00 am

As humans, we are supposed to have an aversion to slime. It should repel us. Objects and organisms that might…

Beavers, not concrete barriers, can save Britain from floods

9 October 2021 9:00 am

As the start date of COP26 draws closer, and just when we are assailed by daily proof of climate chaos,…

Try forest bathing – by day and night – to ward off depression

18 September 2021 9:00 am

Anyone who spends time among trees senses how good that is for their physical and mental wellbeing, says Ursula Buchan

Why do anglers get so hooked?

31 July 2021 9:00 am

The other day a friend asked me what a lascar was. Fair enough: it’s not a word you come across…

A hymn to the hummingbird — one of the most astonishing organisms on Earth

19 June 2021 9:00 am

Along with coral reefs and their fish, tropical butterflies and birds of paradise, hummingbirds must be among the most beautiful…

Born to be wild: the plight of salmon worldwide

26 September 2020 9:00 am

In the Pacific Northwest, Native Americans paint images of salmon on to stones. They say that if you rub those…

Eager for beavers : the case for their reintroduction

12 September 2020 9:00 am

Conservationists are frequently criticised for focusing on glamorous species at the expense of others equally important but unluckily uglier —…

Why fungi might solve the world’s problems

12 September 2020 9:00 am

The biologist Merlin Sheldrake is an intriguing character. In a video promoting the publication of his book Entangled Life, which…

The world’s largest, rarest owl is used for target practice in Siberia

1 August 2020 9:00 am

The montane forests of far-eastern Russia have given rise to one of the finest nature books of recent years, The…

The sex life of the Monarch butterfly is positively wild

25 July 2020 9:00 am

Wendy Williams is an enthusiast, and enthusiasm is infectious. Lepidoptery is for her a new fascination, and it shows. On…

Children should get out more — even if it’s for hide and seek in the park

20 June 2020 9:00 am

We live in an urban world. It’s a statistical fact. The great outdoors for most of us is a thing…

Ireland through the eyes of a brilliant teenage naturalist

13 June 2020 9:00 am

Dara McAnulty is a teenage naturalist from Northern Ireland. He has autism; so do his brother, sister and mother —…

Where did birds first learn to sing?

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Fieldwork can move the most rigorous scientist to lyricism, as Mark Cocker discovers