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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Fireworks burst around the Eiffel Tower in Paris as part of France's annual Bastille Day celebrations

I see why tourists flock to Paris. But what keeps all the sparrows here?

Why are the birds still able to flourish in one, yet not in the other?

Nature Studies: Where are all the sparrows in London?

They were once ubiquitous. Now the sight of them is a thrill

The Deilephila elpenor, otherwise known as the Elephant Hawk Moth

Moths used to be regarded with hostility, but now they are getting a makeover

Given they're essentially the same as butterflies, it's about time

Nature Studies: Marvel at the mayfly hatch – one of Britain’s natural wonders

Restoring mayflies to London’s own trout stream would be a big achievement

Poppies blossom during bright sunshine in the Botanical Garden in Munich, Germany

Nature Studies: It takes exposure to the real thing to grasp the full power of the poppy

We invest so much in its symbolism that it's easy to forget the flower itself

A misty morning over Sussex . The view looking towards the South Downs over a champagne vineyard.

Nature Studies: Chalk downs teem with life like no other landscape

Finding any wild orchid is an event. But here there were four species on display

Nature studies: Stay away from the dolphins kept in tanks. The only ones to see live wild

It was all part of a zoological craze that swept the world at the end of the 1960s

Cow Parsley

Cow parsley: the countryside killer

The white flowers may make English country lanes look pretty, but in reality they are killing other wild plants

Nature Studies: You’ve heard the song that features the linnet. But have you heard the linnet sing?

The linnet was prized by cage bird keepers for its melodious, liquid song

Nature Studies: Isn’t it time the BBC broadcast the song of the nightingale again?

After ‘Tweet of the Day’, I’m sure the Corporation would be in sympathy with the idea

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

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Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
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This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
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Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

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No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee