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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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

Nature Studies: Beautiful, bright, and on the way out, an elegy for the golden oriole

There is one recent bird immigrant which once seemed on the point of lighting up our springtime, but is sadly now on the point of disappearing completely

Nature Studies: The life that disappeared while baby-boomers had their fun

This uniquely lucky generation always felt a sense of radical specialness - but what did they do to the natural world?

Nature Studies: Cross the Atlantic in a ship? The beautiful Monarch can do better than that

To a British enthusiast, it's a once-in-a-lifetime encounter. Oxford don Professor EB Ford caught sight of one in 1941 and set off in frenzied pursuit.

Nature Studies: The disappearing turtle dove

According to the latest analysis, this legendary bird has only eight years left till extinction. That's far too short a time to appreciated its breathtaking beauty

Nothing signifies spring quite like blossom mixed with birdsong

It’s long been hard to find an image for the peculiar intensity of spring

Why half a million fritillaries didn’t make it this year

There had been a colossal smothering, truly weird to witness

Once upon a time, in a land before pesticide, wildlife was so abundant

Visiting the restored ecosystem of the Norfolk Estate, under which the grey partridge once naturally flourished is like stepping back in time

Meet Chris – a totally new kind of cuckoo clock

The call of the cuckoo is the most musical sound in all of nature - but clock makers don't often capture it right

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