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.

Starnina, Gherardo (attrib): Thebaid (1410)

It is an all-round embarrassing fact that the art of the past often only speaks to us by being misunderstood. It seems to communicate so clearly, but it does this because we've made a mistake. We've imagined that it's talking a language that it couldn't possibly be talking. And knowing that leaves us with a dilemma. Should we give up our delusory delight in old art? Or persist in the delusion, aware that's what it is?

Terry Wells: Botanist, ecologist and author

It is commonplace today to see flocks and herds of animals, and vegetation cut and mown, on nature reserves. It is hard to recollect that, some 50 years ago, the prevailing view was that nature should be left to look after itself. Management of such areas amounted to putting up a fence and reserve notices. But it was eventually observed that under such a regime of neglect, reserves lost their intrinsic wildlife-interest as grasslands became rank and woodland thicket.

Can wearing fur be guilt-free?

It's brutal and bloody, yet some designers are trying to rebrand animal pelts as the latest eco fashion must-have. Sanjida O'Connell reports on an unlikely alliance

David Cushing: Marine fisheries ecologist

David Cushing was an outstanding contributor to marine science and a large character. He joined the Fisheries Laboratory (now the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science or Cefas) at Lowestoft in Suffolk after Second World War service in the Army. It was a time of change in cultures and technology that he embraced.

Child's remains found at former care home

Parts of a child's body have been found at a former care home in Jersey, police have confirmed.

Leading article: A waste of energy

Several years ago, when confronted with the environmental damage inflicted by gas-powered patio heaters, B&Q sought solace in the old arms dealers' defence: "If we do not sell them, then our competitors will."

Darling delivers slap in face for investors

The Government set itself on a collision course with small shareholder groups yesterday after the Trade Secretary, Alistair Darling, said he would fight to repeal an amendment to the Company Law Reform Bill that would have given voting rights to those who hold shares in nominee accounts.

Boyd Tonkin: A Week in Books

Tirelessly courteous, the small, dapper man kept on greeting, smiling and pressing the flesh until late in the evening. Around him buzzed hangers-on, as florid tapestries and heavy marble spoke of an older kind of hierarchy. When he talked, as gracious as the "royalty" he has become, you felt the vast burden of his name and fame. "Wherever Pelé goes, I carry the name of my country. I never, ever want to disappoint my people."

Bears set for UK's own 'Jurassic Park'

Plan for wild animal reserve upsets Highlanders

The Highest Tide, by Jim Lynch

A teenager on the beach learns to make ripples in the real world

Diary Of An Eco-Builder

Our plan was to build the house to rise and embrace the tree which had inspired it

Carl Amery

Writer and eco-thinker
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all