Nature's Great Invaders

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Grey Squirrel2016082920180403 (R4)

Telling the stories of non-native invasive species and our complicated attitudes to them and with an uncertain political future, how do we police our ecological borders?

The grey squirrel is considered one of the worlds greatest natural invaders. It's been on UK shores for over a hundred years and it's two million strong population dwarfs that of our native red squirrel.

It is maligned by many, but does the grey squirrel deserve its reputation as an unstoppable invader? Derek Mooney intends to find out.

Producer: Ellie Sans

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in August 2016.

The natural history story of the UK's most famous invader - the grey squirrel.

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

01Grey Squirrel2016082920200310 (BBC7)
20200309 (BBC7)
Telling the stories of non-native invasive species and our complicated attitudes to them and with an uncertain political future how do we police our ecological borders?

The grey squirrel is considered one of the worlds greatest natural invaders. It's been on UK shores for over a hundred years and it's two million strong population dwarfs that of our native red squirrel. It is maligned by many, but does the grey squirrel deserve its reputation as an unstoppable invader? Derek Mooney intends to find out.

The natural history story of the UK's most famous invader - the grey squirrel.

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

01Grey Squirrel20160829The natural history story of the UK's most famous invader - the grey squirrel.

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

02Japanese Knotweed2016083020180410 (R4)

Japanese knotweed evolved to grow on the slopes of Japanese volcanoes. It's harsh home makes it a thug of a plant outside it's natural range with a seemingly magical ability grow in the most unlikely places.

In the more than 100 years since a few female specimens were brought to UK shores as an ornamental garden plant it has spread across the country and is now probably the most hated plant in the UK. But is it really the Great Invader we believe it to be? Derek Mooney intends to find out.

Telling the stories of non-native invasive species and our complicated attitudes to them and with an uncertain political future, how do we police our ecological borders?

Producer: Ellie Sans

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in August 2016.

Does Japanese knotweed deserve its place as the most hated plant in the UK?

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

02Japanese Knotweed2016083020200311 (BBC7)
20200310 (BBC7)
Telling the stories of non-native invasive species and our complicated attitudes to them and with an uncertain political future how do we police our ecological borders?

Japanese knotweed evolved to grow on the slopes of Japanese volcanoes. It's harsh home makes it a thug of a plant outside it's natural range with a seemingly magical ability grow in the most unlikely places. In the more than 100 years since a few female specimens were brought to UK shores as an ornamental garden plant it has spread across the country and is now probably the most hated plant in the UK. But is it really the Great Invader we believe it to be? Derek Mooney intends to find out.

Does Japanese knotweed deserve its place as the most hated plant in the UK?

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

02Japanese Knotweed20160830Does Japanese knotweed deserve its place as the most hated plant in the UK?

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

03Harlequin Ladybird2016083120180417 (R4)

In years since the harlequin ladybird first hopped across the English Channel, its spread has been scrutinised by an army of scientists and amateur naturalists.

Its rapid colonisation has given it the unfortunate title of the world's fastest invader. Derek Mooney talks to ladybird expert Dr Helen Roy to find out how this little beetle came to be a great invader.

Telling the stories of non-native invasive species and our complicated attitudes to them and with an uncertain political future, how do we police our ecological borders?

Producer: Ellie Sans

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in August 2016.

Derek Mooney finds out how the harlequin ladybird became the UK's fastest invader ever.

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

03Harlequin Ladybird2016083120200312 (BBC7)
20200311 (BBC7)
Telling the stories of non-native invasive species and our complicated attitudes to them and with an uncertain political future how do we police our ecological borders?

In the 10 years since the harlequin ladybird first hopped across the English Channel its spread has been scrutinised by an army of scientists and amateur naturalists. Its rapid colonisation has given it the unfortunate title of the world's fastest invader. Derek Mooney talks to ladybird expert Dr Helen Roy to find out how this little beetle came to be a great invader.

Derek Mooney finds out how the harlequin ladybird became the UK's fastest invader ever.

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

03Harlequin Ladybird20160831Derek Mooney finds out how the harlequin ladybird became the UK's fastest invader ever.

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

04Ring-necked Parakeet2016090120180424 (R4)

In many parts of the world including its native range, the ring-necked parakeet is considered an invasive species.

In the UK we still think of it as either an exotic curiosity or local nuisance. Should we be worried or continue to welcome this unlikely addition to British bird life?

Derek Mooney intends to find out.

Telling the stories of non-native invasive species and our complicated attitudes to them and with an uncertain political future, how do we police our ecological borders?

Producer: Ellie Sans

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in August 2016.

How invasive is the ring-necked parakeet?

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

04Ring-necked Parakeet2016090120200313 (BBC7)
20200312 (BBC7)
Telling the stories of non-native invasive species and our complicated attitudes to them and with an uncertain political future how do we police our ecological borders?In many parts of the world including its native range the ring-necked parakeet is considered an invasive species. In the UK we still think of it as either an exotic curiosity or local nuisance. Should we be worried or continue to welcome this unlikely addition to British bird life?

How invasive is the ring-necked parakeet?

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

04Ring-necked Parakeet20160901How invasive is the ring-necked parakeet?

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

05Ash Dieback Fungus2016090220200314 (BBC7)
20200313 (BBC7)
Telling the stories of non-native invasive species and our complicated attitudes to them. When trees infected with the ash-dieback fungus were first recorded in the UK in early 2012 there was widespread alarm. Four and a half years later are we closer to knowing what the final toll will be on our ash trees and with an uncertain political future how do we limit the risks posed by other invisible invaders?

How do we protect our native wildlife from invisible invaders like the ash-dieback fungus.

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.

05Ash dieback fungus20160902How do we protect our native wildlife from invisible invaders like the ash-dieback fungus.

Natural history series telling the stories of Britain's non-native invasive species.