Plan to bring back 'lost' wetlands

Good news for the bittern and the crane, for water voles and eels, for dragonflies and butterflies, and for anyone who loves wildlife. Marshes, reedbeds, fenlands, peat bogs, meres and ponds across the country are to be restored and recreated in a massive exercise to bring back England's lost wetlands.

Our butterfly hunt is over – but who has seen the most?

Prize awaits most successful insect-spotter

Future now: Landscape design has reached new frontiers

Here's something to relieve the tedium of the M25: see if you can spot a 26ft-high terracotta pot near junction 2(12A). The pot, together with an equally large hand fork, is a new landmark to fanfare Butterfly World near St Albans, Hertfordshire. It is currently in Phase I of its £27m development, but already open to visitors. The giant props will eventually be dwarfed by a large, glass dome that will house an incredible 10,000 butterflies and become the biggest butterfly walk-through exhibition in the world. Until then, the landscape and gardens in the 27-acre site will provide the main attraction, as they re-establish wildlife habitats that have suffered from development.

Wet summer set to push up cost of honey

Honey prices could rise after production was hit by summer downpours, it was revealed today.

Swarms of ladybirds plague Norfolk coast

Hordes of ladybirds have swamped cars, plants and homes after the biggest boom in their numbers for over 30 years.

Bellamy backs 'butterfly world' plans

More habitat needs to be created for butterflies to stop the declines in some of the UK's most well-loved insects, conservationists urged today.

What do you see here? (the answer could say a lot about you)

For decades, the Rorschach test has been used to decode the human mind. But now the secret's out – and psychologists are hopping mad.

Science Notebook: One man's stinky fungi is another's honour

One of the perks of being a scientist is that, occasionally, it is possible to have something named after you. It could be a seminal theory, a physical law, a building, or even a star.

Butterflies of the British Isles

You might say there are a myriad sorts of summers which make up our experience and linger in the memory – hot summers, wet summers, summers of awakening, summers of love, summers of cricket, summers on the beach, summers in the mountains, summers of unforgettable holidays, summers of dreadful holidays, summers of no holidays at all. And here we are celebrating yet another one.

Leading article: Winging it

How many have you seen? A red admiral? A green hairstreak? Perhaps an Adonis blue? Or a dingy skipper? Our summer might have turned out sporadically damper than was forecast. But it has, nevertheless, been a decent first four months for The Independent's Great British Butterfly Hunt. And now that the butterfly season is at its height we have decided to give readers a recap on the profiles of these gorgeous winged insects in our special magazine supplement.

Michael McCarthy: The fog lifts on the beauty of grass

Nature Notebook: As grasses are pollinated by the wind they do not need the brilliant shades which insect-pollinated plants decorate their reproductive organs

The butterfly with a woodland empire

In the latest stage of his butterfly hunt, Michael McCarthy goes down to the woods to see the purple emperor in action

Warning over honeybee decline

MPs have accused the Government of showing little interest in the problem of Britain's disappearing honeybees.

Summer break – the time to spot the browns

They are the butterflies of high summer and of long hot dusty days – the ones that small children run after on their holidays; the ones we set flying whenever we walk through a grassy field.

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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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