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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The winged rainbow that shakes you with its sheer beauty

Occasionally the natural world can trigger feelings in us that are so intense they are hard to explain. These are not everyday sentiments, and you might not experience them on your ordinary country walk – although then again you might, as I imagine Wordsworth saw his daffodils, and Shelley heard his skylark, in the course of what were probably, in other aspects, ordinary days.

A late summer marvel - the mysterious butterfly bush

Its long, vibrant flower sprays lure lepidoptera like nothing else

Nature Studies: Time again to bid a sad farewell to the darling birds of May

The swifts have gone from my part of the world, the south-west corner of London, and soon they will be gone from all of Britain

Nature Studies: Forget the royal baby – July’s real star was the humble butterfly

The blazing sunshine of July’s first three weeks was a godsend for lepidoptera

Nature Studies: No swallows to make a summer in a world without birds

Like music, the love of birds may be part of what it is to be human

Heatwave: Spring was freezing. Summer’s boiling. We’d better get used to these surprises

The process is non-linear. There are too many intangibles

If they came out by day, these moths would be famous beauties

There are 15 times as many larger moths in Britain as butterflies

Nature Studies: In the turmoil of Jerusalem who would have suspected this tiny oasis?

The tranquil Jerusalem Bird Observatory is is bang in the middle of one of the world’s great bird-migration route and has recorded more than 200 species

Nature Studies: Mayflies offer gripping scenes of mass birth, mass sex and violent death

You don't need to go on safari in Africa to encounter a gripping wildlife spectacle. In England there's one coming to an end just about now

Nature Studies: Meadows are the wildflower experience taken to the ultimate power

If nearly all the medieval churches of Britain had been destroyed there would be an outcry. Our disappearing hay meadows deserve the same reverence

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