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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Two young House Martins perch on a finger

Immortalised by Macbeth, house martins thrive in Scotland – but not England

Described by Shakespeare as 'the guest of summer', this beautiful bird has been welcomed for centuries. But now, trouble is in the air

What makes whales and dolphins so mysterious? Now is the time to see for yourself

Creatures like us, but from another realm, a different dimension

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

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