Sean's Wild Life

4/23/2021

Gillian Burke, Earth Warrior, Eco Freak

Season 4, Ep. 10
Biologist, presenter, public speaker, voiceover artist, writer and mother, Gillian Burke has a lot to say. So it was a delight to have a proper chat about her upbringing and career journey to date, her hopes for our planet and humanity as well as the challenges we are facing. Perhaps best know for her presenting role on BBC Springwatch and the spin off Autumn and Winterwatch shows, we talk about her somewhat tumultuous appearance and public reception on the show, as well as the importance of diversity in the natural sciences and the natural history field. We also explore Gillian's self confessed passion for supporting the underdog, speaking out on oppression and tackling tough environmental issues. We ponder on 2020, the year that threw a lot at us from Black Lives Matter, global pandemic, continued ecological destruction and environmental battles close to home like HS2. Finally Gillian shares her top three Instagram accounts to follow and they are a great selection. Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. Production costs are self funded by Sean McCormack, but donations to fund future episodes are welcome on Acast Supporter here:http://supporter.acast.com/seans-wild-lifeor at www.patreon.com/seanswildlife.If you would like to sponsor a future episode of Sean's Wild Life please email drseanmccormack@gmail.com and visit www.drseanmccormack.com to learn more about Sean's work.Cover photo credit: Gillian Burke.
3/26/2021

Water Voles & Community Conservation

Season 4, Ep. 8
I showed Elliot Newton of Citizen Zoo and now Biodiversity Officer for Kingston Council around Ealing for the first time. Elliot is leading a community led water vole reintroduction project in Kingston on the Hogsmill River, a very special chalk fed stream where water voles used to thrive but have undergone a local extinction. Water Vole reintroduction is something that I've been scoping out as a project for Ealing Wildlife Group so it was great to get advice from Elliot who is already well underway with his community engagement, habitat management preparations and had just reached his crowdfunding target at the time of recording.We also cut to a previous conversation myself, Elliot and Kieron Brown of The Field Studies Council had in the pub where they debated whether water voles or earthworms were the more important animals. It got heated. I think I may need to get Kieron on at some point to defend the humble earthworm, his specialist topic.As Elliot has said when promoting his water vole project, the UK is one of the most nature depleted nations in the world. And if we can't even hold on to some of our rodent species we're not doing too well in terms of wildlife conservation. We discuss Ealing Wildlife Group's upcoming project to reintroduce Britain's tiniest rodent, the Harvest Mouse, and then ponder the possibility of our largest native rodent coming back in London. Beavers on the Brent? Watch this space!Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. Production costs are self funded by Sean McCormack, but donations to fund future episodes are welcome on Acast Supporter here:http://supporter.acast.com/seans-wild-lifeor at www.patreon.com/seanswildlife.If you would like to sponsor a future episode of Sean's Wild Life please email drseanmccormack@gmail.com and visit www.drseanmccormack.com to learn more about Sean's work.Cover photo credit: Elliot Newton (Citizen Zoo).
3/12/2021

Vets, Sustainability & 'One Health'

Season 4, Ep. 7
I talk to a veterinary colleague, Laura Higham, who I admire hugely for her work in the field of 'One Health' and sustainability within the veterinary profession. We discuss the unique role of veterinary professionals working at the intersection between animal health, public health of humans and our impacts on environmental health too. Laura set up Vet Sustain and also works for the Food Animal Initiative (FAI) who work in partnership with farmers and food companies for climate and food security. Powered by science and best practice, FAI Farms deliver strategic advice, data services, and education for a better food chain. There's interesting chat about what sustainability even means, how farming practices impact climate and the environment, what damaging traditions currently exist in veterinary practice, the apparent boom in regenerative agriculture principles, how consumer choices have the power to change things and how vets are arguably not as well recognised as perhaps we could be in being champions for our global ecosystem, and as leaders in the 'One Health' concept. Hope you enjoy!Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. Production costs are self funded by Sean McCormack, but donations to fund future episodes are welcome on Acast Supporter here:http://supporter.acast.com/seans-wild-lifeor at www.patreon.com/seanswildlife.Cover photo credit: Biomed Central.
2/26/2021

A wildlife watching obsession!

Season 4, Ep. 6
I've followed Kate MacRae (aka @WildlifeKate) on Twitter for years, enjoying her live video streams and webcams on various wildlife in stunning, up close and personal detail. So it was great to chat and share our mutual passion for observing wildlife and how you can always learn amazing new behaviours or insights into even our common or garden species. With a background in environmental education, Kate shares why it's so important to get children enthused and interested in nature. She also shares some tips and tricks for attracting wildlife to your garden or nearest outdoor space, as well as tech tips on how to start a wildlife filming hobby or even career. A regular on BBC Springwatch, Countryfile and Gardener's World, Kate's work is a pure joy to observe and so was speaking with her. Her enthusiasm and enduring fascination with the natural world won't fail to put a smile on your face. Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. Production costs are self funded by Sean McCormack, but donations to fund future episodes are welcome on Acast Supporter here:http://supporter.acast.com/seans-wild-lifeor at www.patreon.com/seanswildlife.If you would like to sponsor a future episode of Sean's Wild Life please email drseanmccormack@gmail.com and visit www.drseanmccormack.com to learn more about Sean's work.Cover photo credit:Kate MacRae.
1/29/2021

A Life Less Ordinary

Season 4, Ep. 4
I speak with Matthew and Charis Watkinson about their off grid life in the Welsh countryside, and what prompted them to turn their back on the trappings of modern life for as remote and self sufficient an existence as they could. Having recently featured on Ben Fogle's 'New Lives in the Wild' on Channel 5, the pair have been overwhelmed with the interest in the life and enterprise they have created at Beeview Farm.Both ex-veterinarians, I chat to Matthew and Charis about the challenges of the profession which I know all too well myself, having left clinical practice for an industry consultancy role back in 2016. The struggles of the job and emotional demands saw Matthew make a rather controversial departure from the profession 11 years ago. Something which he is still being criticised for to this day, and which flared up again on certain veterinary online forums following the screening of the documentary. I hope that this podcast gives listeners a chance to hear the Watkinson's points of view and reflect on the issues within the vet profession, as well as the impact it can have on those who have dedicated their lives to it but find themselves at odds with the day to day realities of what it expects of them. Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. Production costs are self funded by Sean McCormack, but donations to fund future episodes are welcome on Acast Supporter here:http://supporter.acast.com/seans-wild-lifeor at www.patreon.com/seanswildlife.If you would like to sponsor a future episode of Sean's Wild Life please email drseanmccormack@gmail.com and visit www.drseanmccormack.com to learn more about Sean's work.Cover photo credit: Matthew and Charis Watkinson, Beeview Farm Instagram.
1/15/2021

The Brilliance of Bats!

Season 4, Ep. 3
I was delighted to speak with Kit Stoner, CEO of the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) about one of my favourite groups of animals, bats! Often misunderstood and vilified, bats are a fascinating and extremely important group of animals globally. And in a year where bats have received somewhat of a bad rep and perhaps unwarranted blame for the Covid-19 pandemic, we settle the score on this and many other misconceptions about these incredible creature, the only mammals capable of true flight.From what they eat to where they live, practical advice if you find a bat or have them living in your home, how bat research is benefiting us in terms of medical science and technology right through to the conservation status of bats in Britain, Kit is a mine of information. And surprisingly when it comes to the depressing trend of biodiversity in crisis, some of our bat species appear to be bouncing back. An all too rare good news story in nature conservation that we need right now. Have a listen and I guarantee you'll learn some amazing bat facts that you didn't know before. Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. Production costs are self funded by Sean McCormack, but donations to fund future episodes are welcome on Acast Supporter here:http://supporter.acast.com/seans-wild-lifeor at www.patreon.com/seanswildlife.If you would like to sponsor a future episode of Sean's Wild Life please email drseanmccormack@gmail.com and visit www.drseanmccormack.com to learn more about Sean's work. Cover photo credit: Common Pipistrelle by Hugh Clark, purchased via donation to BCT.