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Chris Baraniuk

Chris Baraniuk

I'm a freelance science journalist and nature-lover who wants to find new, hopeful ways to bring people and nature together.

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When wild animals in our midst become celebrities

A very short piece for you this week, inspired by the story of Barry the owl, a much-loved and nonchalant female barred owl from Central Park in New York.

A brown and white owl sitting on a branch, looking at the camera.
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In search of silence

Human civilisation is loud. And it has been getting louder for millennia. As our population has grown, our towns and cities have expanded.

A film photograph of a snowy, desolate landscape with trees and a couple of snow-covered buildings in the distance.
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The nature experiences that stay with us forever

Late on Tuesday night last week, I was scrolling absent-mindedly through Twitter when an unusual request caught my eye...

A dark navy coloured whale fluke viewed from behind, with a curtain of sea water dripping off it. In a wide, calm sea.
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This artist wants you to gather videos in the woods

“Not a drone shot – not another drone shot – but from the ground. What does it actually feel like to be in,” says artist and filmmaker Ruth Maclennan as she describes...

A woman, artist Ruth Maclennan, pictured smiling at the camera with trees in the background.
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A farm's old stone structures can house birds, bats – and history

Most of the lime kilns are gone now. Old maps from the 19th Century suggest they were once dotted all around the farms run by Shane McAuliffe, a pig farmer in Ireland.

A farm's old stone structures can house birds, bats – and history
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Why not make offerings to nature every time we take something from it?

In the Altai Mountains of western Mongolia, travellers sometimes stumble on stone cairns topped with horse skulls and sticks flying coloured prayer flags. People have clearly put these installations there on purpose.

A cairn of stones, topped with some horse skulls and a stick flying blue and yellow prayer flags on a hillside.
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How reviving nature tables could restore wonder to the classroom

John Paull had a habit of collecting things he found when out walking. It was largely thanks to this that he set up his first nature table in a school, about 60 years ago.

How reviving nature tables could restore wonder to the classroom
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Beautiful, wild and free - what birds mean to us

At the height of the first lockdown, when Belfast’s streets were quieter than I’ve ever known them (quieter than they probably ever will be again), my wife and I walked through an inner suburb of Belfast and spotted two buzzards soaring above us.

A painting of two peregrine falcons eating a duck carcass.
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What would a truly nature-friendly city be like?

In the city of Milan, Italy, two tower blocks garlanded with greenery rise from their surroundings. The architect that designed these buildings, Boeri Studio, christened them Bosco Verticale, or “vertical forest” – a demonstration of how urban structures could be so much greener than we’re used to.

What would a truly nature-friendly city be like?
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An opera about dead locusts is coming to the UK

In the American Rocky Mountains, a grisly natural phenomenon is slowly unfurling. Glaciers there are melting, releasing huge piles of rotting locusts that became encased in the ice long ago.

An opera about dead locusts is coming to the UK