Dale, we are delighted that you will be taking part in this year’s Midlands Science Festival. Can you tell us a bit about your company Naturally Wild and what you do?
I’m an Australian with a background in Rainforest ecology but I’ve been living in Ireland now for 18 years. I build school gardens, plant native Irish Trees, write Children’s books and have been on TV with Dustin the Turkey and Albie the Why Guy. For this Science Festival this year I thought I would do something different and bring you my own backgarden from Australia but with a twist.. it’s old really old from about 100 million years ago!!!
What is your background? Did you study science at university?
I actually studied Agricultural Science and then branched into Botany to study Rainforest ecology, as re-vegetating degraded areas is what took my interest early in my working career. Although when I was back in High School I did my TY type work experience at the Melbourne Museum of Natural History Museum in the Geology and Palaeontology. Hence the current theme!!! I like to say most of my study has come from the school of hard knocks though, it is true you can learn so much through school and then college but a lot comes down to going out and experiencing things.
What is your favourite science fact?
My favourite science fact. Gosh I have so many – I like this one I read today about Honey Bees… ‘If Honey Bees earned minimum wage for the work they do a jar of honey would cost over 150,000 euro!!!’ In Ireland you have over 90 species of Bee but only one is the Honey Bee..about 20 are Bumble Bees that live in small colonies and make very small amounts of honey (not really enough to harvest) although half a dozen of those are cuckoo bumblebees and pretend to be the other species for their young to get a free ride! The other 70 odd are Solitary Bees that don’t make Honey at all but do a vast majority of all the Pollination.