Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.

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Daffodils bloom in Sefton Park as the first signs of Spring begin to show across the United Kingdom in Liverpool

I wandered lonely through a secret daffodil wood

Nature Studies: Wild daffodils are much smaller and more delicate than the cultivated kind, and they are a knockout

A river flows through the Monadhliath Mountains, where a wind farm has been proposed

Nature Studies: Can the threat to the UK’s only true wilderness be seen off?

Soon the Scottish Government will either block or allow a massive wind farm in the Monadhliath mountains, and if it goes ahead the impact will be colossal

Wheat hit peak production in 2004

Plants are in trouble – but is rescue at hand?

Nature Studies: Human life ultimately depends on about 30 crops, from wheat to rice

Crocuses bloom at The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

From carpets of crocuses to cuckoos on the move, spring is truly springing

Well it’s been a long wait, but spring is here now, at least by the Met Office definition, which classifies the new season as consisting of March, April and May (the older, astronomical definition has it beginning from the vernal equinox, which this year is 20 March, but we tend to go with the Met Office these days). And with Sunday being the first day of it, I went out to look for signs, and was not disappointed.

It may not have commercial value, but birdsong is priceless

Insect pollination is worth £136bn a year; a robin’s value is harder to quantify

Nature Studies: Look out and you’ll see there’s more to nature in the city than pigeons

A new book has revealed that London, like the majority of our towns and cities, is really a treasure house of wildlife

An employee arranges Bromeliaceae ahead of the 2015 'Orchids Festival' at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, west of London

Sky blue orchid is already a rare beauty. Deforestation threatens its very existence

In 2012 Indonesia destroyed more than two million  acres of its primary forest

Nature Studies: Is this the year the world finally agrees on a plan to halve climate change?

If you’re under 60 you’ve probably never heard of Le Bourget.

A solar energy farm in France

Nature Studies: For all the attractions of solar power, it shouldn’t blight the countryside

It's a terrific energy source, but that doesn't mean it should ride roughshod over every other environmental consideration

A British army policeman tracks down locations of traps used by poachers to catch migratory birds on a British sovereign base in the region of Dhekelia

Nature Studies: Why is Britain turning a blind eye to the mass slaughter of songbirds?

As many as 78 threatened bird species have been victims of illegal trapping on British-owned soil

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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing