Skip to main content

Paddy Woodworth (Periodista)

Paddy Woodworth (Bray, Ireland, 1951) is an author, journalist, broadcaster, lecturer and tour guide. He contributes regularly to The Irish Times, where he was formerly arts editor and assistant foreign desk editor, and to other print, and broadcast, media. He has reported on Basque and Spanish politics for this newspaper and other media, including the World Policy Journal, since 1978. His most recent article on Spain, an Op Ed on the outcome of the July 23 elections, is here. He has published two acclaimed books on the Basques and Spain. Dirty War, Clean Hands: ETA, the GAL, and Spanish Democracy (Yale, 2003), was described by Sebastian Balfour in the Times Literary Supplement as “a brilliant piece of investigative journalism”. The Basque Country (Oxford 2008), was described by David Gardner of The Financial Times as “Shrewd and affectionate…full of gems…a good eye for architecture and topography…a splendid portrait of a bewitching land.”

 Since then, he has led occasional guided tours of the Basque Country, based around this book, and offering close engagement with places and people tourists do not generally get to meet, formerly in collaboration with Mimo, a gastronomic tourism company based in San Sebastián/Donostia.

 In 2013, he published a study of ecological restoration projects worldwide, Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century (U of Chicago Press), in which he explores the rapidly growing role of restoration as a global conservation strategy to engage with the climate and biodiversity crises. A BioScience reviewer wrote: “Highly readable. This book will bring the concept and application of ecological restoration to a broader audience and will help inspire a new generation of restoration practitioners and researchers.” Woodworth now writes mainly about environmental issues, most recently about the battle for the Nature Restoration Law in the European Parliament.

He regularly broadcasts for Culture File on Irish National Radio, creating a series called “The Naturalist’s Bookshelf” about nature books he loves. He chairs occasional radio debates for the same show, most recently on the past, present and future of gardening in the shadow of the biodiversity and climate crises.

Woodworth is a Research Associate at Missouri Botanical Garden, and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages and Literatures at University College Dublin. He is a founder member of Natural Capital Ireland, and is committed to better communication of environmental issues, both nationally and to local communities and interest groups.

He set up Sanctuary in Nature and Heritage, a project that introduces asylum seekers and refugees to Irish landscapes and historic buildings, with the Syrian architect Muhammad Achour, in 2018.

He has been a visiting fellow at the University of Iowa (International Writing Program), Dartmouth College, the University of Nevada, and DePaul Chicago, and has lectured at numerous Irish and international universities, botanical gardens, conferences and events.