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Sean's Wild Life

Are you a Beaver Believer?

Season 3, Ep. 2

I spoke with Chris Jones and Sophie Pavelle from the Beaver Trust about the return of this iconic mammal to the UK, and the magical effects they can have on our landscapes and waterways. Described as ecosystem engineers, they reshape river systems bringing benefits to a dazzling array of other species. Not only that, but they can also mitigate flood risk and bring benefits for carbon sequestration and climate change.


We discuss the reintroduction projects across the UK, escapees, managing conflicts with landowners and what the future holds for UK beavers. I'm a beaver believer, and I think after this episode you will be too!


Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced by Sean McCormack, co-produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose.


All costs of production have been self funded. If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to tip me by buying me a coffee you can do so here: https://www.buymeacoffee.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.

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  • 10. Infinite Life with Jules Howard

    01:02:10
    Alas, we have reached the final episode of season five of Sean's Wild Life podcast. And perhaps the final episode of the podcast entirely as I'm hanging up my podcast boots for the time being, So it seemed fitting to invite back our first ever guest to be our final one. Jules Howard is a zoologist, author, science communicator and broadcaster with a nifty perspective on the natural world. His latest book, 'Infinite Life' explores the story of evolution through the perspective of the egg. Some terrific insights and wondrous facts ensue. We also chat about his previous book, 'Wonderdog: How the Science of Dogs Changed the Science of Life'. And we couldn't let another catchup go by without talking about ponds, our mutual love of frogs and that fateful trip to an equine stud farm.Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced by Sean McCormack, co-produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose.All costs of production have been self funded. If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to tip me by buying me a coffee you can do so here: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/seanswildlife.If you would like to sponsor a future episode of Sean's Wild Life or have podcast ideas and need a host please email drseanmccormack@gmail.com. You can visit www.drseanmccormack.com to learn more about Sean's work.
  • 9. Sweating the small stuff

    01:04:45
    I caught up with naturalist, writer, wilding ecologist and TikToker extraordinaire Pete Cooper to indulge in his passion for the smaller, less glamorous species reintroductions happening in the UK at present. We delved into making Glow Worm porridge (that's made for Glow Worms, not with Glow Worms by the way!), the success of our Ealing Harvest Mouse reintroduction project which Pete has helped facilitate and some of the controversies around rewilding in general, particularly when it comes to species reintroductions. Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced by Sean McCormack, co-produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose.All costs of production have been self funded. If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to tip me by buying me a coffee you can do so here: https://www.buymeacoffee.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.
  • 8. Nature Ambassador Chantelle Naturelle

    01:03:54
    Prepare for LOLZ. I caught up with my pal Chantelle, CBeebies presenter of teeny Tiny Creatures, Great North Wood project officer for London Wildlife Trust and Future Advisor for former podcast guests Heal Rewilding. I would say we had a great chat but truth is we laughed our way through lots of topics. But on a serious note we did explore why there is a lack of diversity in the nature and conservation space, how things are improving and can be improved further, what it's like to be a young, black woman working in wildlife conservation and how she's coping with a brand new media career. Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced by Sean McCormack, co-produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose.All costs of production have been self funded. If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to tip me by buying me a coffee you can do so here: https://www.buymeacoffee.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.
  • 7. Never Work With Animals

    53:35
    I caught up with Gareth Steel, vet and author of new book 'Never Work With Animals' which lifts the lid on what it's really like being a vet. We discuss why he wrote the book, some of the stories it contains and how the perception Vs reality of the job often differ when it comes to the general public. Not many know the fact that veterinary medicine has the highest rate of suicide of any profession as well as issues with mental health, burnout and a high departure rate. We discuss the complex factors that feed into this problem, as well as some of the difficult topics like the use of alternative therapies in pets, balancing economic concerns of pet owners and farmers with animal welfare and of course some of the entertaining and positive experiences of what it means to be a vet. A must listen episode for anyone who ever thought "Oh I'd love to have been a vet" or has children interested in joining the profession. Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced by Sean McCormack, co-produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose.All costs of production have been self funded. If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to tip me by buying me a coffee you can do so here: https://www.buymeacoffee.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.
  • 6. The Flat Faced Dog Dilemma

    01:17:54
    In this episode we're moving away from wildlife and nature conservation to a serious animal welfare issue I face in my career as a vet, exploring the issues of flat faced or brachycephalic dog breeds. I'm joined by two incredibly knowledgeable guests, Alison Skipper and Dr Rowena Packer. Alison is a vet studying a PhD in the history of pedigree dog breeding and welfare. Rowena is a companion animal behaviour and welfare scientist at the Royal Vet College. Together we explore when and why the trend for flat faced dogs appeared, why they are popular, what problems they suffer from as a result of their extreme appearance and what can be done about it. It's a fascinating insight into a complex topic.Dr Packer is recruiting recent puppy owners for a survey in to pandemic puppy ownership, so if you fit the bill please do partake by 11th March here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Pups2021Cover image courtesy of CRUFFA (Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat Faced Animals in Advertising. https://www.facebook.com/groups/cruffa).Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced by Sean McCormack, co-produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose.All costs of production have been self funded. If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to tip me by buying me a coffee you can do so here: https://www.buymeacoffee.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.
  • 5. Into the Wild looking for Adders

    59:50
    It's a podcast crossover episode this time as I meet with fellow podcaster Ryan Dalton, host of the excellent nature podcast 'Into the Wild' (https://intothewild.podbean.com/). I brought Ryan to a top secret location last Spring to find adders, Britain's only venomous reptile as he'd only recently seen his first one and wanted to see more. I visit this site each year and told him I'd guarantee him some adders to photograph and marvel at. Maybe even find a legendary black adder? We weren't only there for a snake hunt however. We wanted to explore and discuss a topic we'd chatted about several times before, our pet's impact on nature and wildlife. With me as a vet and Ryan as a 'doggy daycare' business owner but also both passionate conservationists, there is an uncomfortable conflict at times in advocating for pets V's nature. Many pet owners don't even realise the impact their pets are having. And with the colossal rise in pet ownership since the pandemic began, we ask whether our growing pet population is pushing sensitive wildlife and habitats closer and closer to the brink. A tricky topic, but important to educate and support pet owners to minimises the damage that can be done without even realising.Oh and make sure to listen to the end, something funny and adder-shaped happens!Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced by Sean McCormack, co-produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose.All costs of production have been self funded. If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to tip me by buying me a coffee you can do so here: https://www.buymeacoffee.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.
  • 4. Ocean Optimist Steve Simpson

    55:41
    Chatting with marine biologist and fish ecologist Professor Steve Simpson from the University of Bristol about ocean health, his incredible research on rebuilding coral reefs using sound technology, using the underwater soundscape to monitor ecosystem change and the mission he set me and the team of Changing Planet: Britain's Wildest to record the longest ocean sound transect ever completed in UK waters.Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced by Sean McCormack, co-produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. All costs of production have been self funded. If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to tip me by buying me a coffee you can do so here: https://www.buymeacoffee.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.
  • 3. Mr Mooney's farm

    01:33:05
    On a trip home to Ireland I took a wander with my Dad on Christmas Eve on his friend, Anthony Mooney's farm, where biodiversity is treated with just as much importance as beef production. Anthony tells us about the habitat features he's brought back to the landscape, how his haymaking approach benefits wildlife more than intensive silage production, his recent re-wetting experiment of one of his fields and his part in the Irish 'Protecting Farmland Pollinators' scheme. Come along on a farmland walk with myself , my Dad Tom McCormack (ex-Chair of Birdwatch Ireland Kildare branch) and Anthony Mooney, one of Ireland's most nature friendly farmers.Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced by Sean McCormack, co-produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. All costs of production have been self funded. If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to tip me by buying me a coffee you can do so here: https://www.buymeacoffee.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.
  • 2. A nature ramble with Lorraine & Angus

    50:12
    An enjoyable ramble in nature with the lovely Lorraine Kelly and equally gorgeous Angus, her Border Terrier. Did you know that Lorraine is a closet bird nerd? Well she is, and we chat all about her travels and relationship with nature, animals and enthusiasm for birds. Angus keeps us on our toes throughout, and we encounter a few little surprises along the way. Come join us on a gorgeous walk by the river!Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced by Sean McCormack, co-produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. All costs of production have been self funded. If you've enjoyed this episode and would like to tip me by buying me a coffee you can do so here: https://www.buymeacoffee.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.Skylark song courtesy of Patrik Aberg (Xeno-canto).