Arts and Entertainment

Germaine Greer planting some trees, is there a whole book in that? The answer is a resounding “yes” after reading this heartfelt, sharp and meticulously researched account of the author’s decade-long efforts to rebuild a small corner of rainforest in her home country of Australia.

The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: a 21st-Century Bestiary, By Caspar Henderson. Granta, £20

The first thing that strikes the reader on picking up Caspar Henderson's Book of Barely Imagined Beings is the care that has gone into its production. Once past the cover (embossed in gold), the foil-blocked spine and illustrated end-papers, the most innovative note is struck by the footnotes that run parallel to the main text, colour-matched to highlighted words.

Postcard from... Tablas de Daimiel

Three years ago, the drought in Spain's most important wetland – the Tablas de Daimiel in the country's vast, largely arid, central plains – was so serious that just 39 acres remained flooded. Then, when a series of underground fires broke out in steadily drying peat banks, the Tablas' ecosystem looked set to be irreversibly destroyed.

How to put on a show in your garden for Halloween

It can be quite a glum time of year in the garden– but it’s easy enough to turn it glam with a little Halloween hocus-pocus, says Emma Townshend.

The Saturday Quiz answers

1. Hilary Mantel.

Revealed: The secrets of UK's migrating painted lady butterfly population

The secrets of the UK's migrating painted lady butterfly population have been revealed by scientists who have discovered where they go in autumn.

The mascot for the 2014 World Cup

Seven-metre high inflatable armadillo mascot for the 2014 World Cup attacked by vandals

An inflatable version of Brazil's mascot for the 2014 World Cup, a smiling three-banded armadillo, has been removed after it was attacked with knives by vandals.

'Fair' green energy deal offered by mutuals

A rival to the Government's Green Deal – which offers homeowners cash incentives to make their homes more energy efficient – was launched this week.

Many species of the poison dart frog are critically endangered

Rainforest wildlife havens on brink of collapse

Outside destruction is threatening lush reserves designed to protect world's richest biodiversity

Ten Billion, Theatre Upstairs, London

Imagine that an asteroid has been discovered and there is hard, predictive evidence that it is going to impinge on the Earth on 25 March 2072 and destroy 70 per cent of the planet’s resources.

Tom Hodgkinson: Why modern travel fills me with horror

Travelling fills me with dread. When a trip is looming – and loom they do these days, because I'm often invited to speak on the benefits of doing nothing at festivals and conferences abroad – I fret. I even panic, sometimes for days before the journey. I stomp around the house grumpily. I worry about clothing. Why did I say yes? Why can't I just stay at home? Where's my passport?

The Word for Snow, Purcell Room, London

Programmes were not distributed until after the show, but you were handed a single sheet of white paper, blank except for one typed word – mine, somewhat dispiritingly, was "sock" – as you made your way into the Purcell Room for this European premiere of a short play by Don DeLillo.

François Hollande set to deliver French left majority

The triumph of the French left in the first round of parliamentary elections threatens to redraw the map of party politics in France.

Is this a drought? No, it's ESRD

When is a drought not a drought? When it's an area of environmental stress due to rainfall deficit, of course. The less-than-catchy term to describe Britain's current state was suggested yesterday by the Environment Agency as it struggles with public perceptions over what "drought" really means.

Portfolio: Jacek Kusz

For years, Jacek Kusz found his mind was elsewhere: in his past, reminiscing; or in the future, planning his next project. Until, that is, a sickly monkey changed his perspective.

Did they sex up their dossiers? Indian ministers 'caught' watching porn

India's right-wing Bharatiya Janta Party is known for its staunch conservatism and hard-line religious views. But it risks developing an image problem after two of its lawmakers were accused of viewing pornography in the Gujarat state assembly, only weeks after two BJP ministers in the south-western state of Karnataka were forced to quit after being caught watching x-rated videos on a mobile phone.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor