Building a bird reserve from London earth

Wallasea Island in Essex, England, is Europe’s largest habitat creation project. This reclaimed natural landscape is being built up with spoil excavated from underneath the streets of London, a by-product of the CrossRail engineering project. British builders are carving out lagoons, mudflats and saltmarshes in the hopes of bringing wild birds and other creatures back to the region.

The RSPB's Chris Tyas with a sprig of sea clover.
The RSPB’s Chris Tyas with a sprig of sea clover.
[audio http://radio-download.dw.de/Events/dwelle/dira/mp3/eng/30FCA0E6_1_dwdownload.mp3]

Report by Richard O’Brien.

With thanks to Lori Herber and Saroja Coehlo at Living Planet, where this report initially appeared.

Of Latin and labyrinths – two reports from Helsinki

I spent the last week of March in Helsinki, and put together two reports about the city for ‘Inside Europe‘, a magazine show put together by the German radio station Deutsche Welle. No prizes for spotting the Leonard Cohen reference I’ve awkwardly crammed into one of the intros…

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Why the Finns are live on air with a dead language

In 1989 the Finnish broadcaster YLE began producing the world’s first news program in Latin. Nuntii Latini presents modern stories in an ancient language, and gives dead words new life with today’s technology. But how do its presenters find the words? Richard O’Brien has been visiting Helsinki to find out how the programme comes together.

[audio http://radio-download.dw.de/Events/dwelle/dira/mp3/eng/EC640181_1_dwdownload.mp3]

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What lies beneath Helsinki

The Finnish capital Helsinki uses subterranean space more comprehensively than almost any other city in the world. In 2011, an Underground Master Plan was introduced to develop the city’s future, below ground as well as above. Trying to map this modern labyrinth has created problems for planners and provided inspiration for artists. Richard O’Brien discovers what’s really going on below the city.

[audio http://radio-download.dw.de/Events/dwelle/dira/mp3/eng/D57D30C1_1_dwdownload.mp3]

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With thanks to Helen Seeney and Emma Wallis at Deutsche Welle.