Voices elephants in rain

Protecting habitat and engaging the local community are crucial for both rhinos and elephants, says Christian Lambrechts, the managing director of Rhino Ark

Waterflea eats away Broads pollution problem

The tiny waterflea was the star of an environmental success story celebrated in Norfolk, yesterday.

Letter: Ruddy duck breeding

Sir: It is hard to know how to respond to Dr Richard Ryder's "Hands off our ruddy ducks"(Another View: 30 June) without resorting to similarly highly emotive language.

Letter: Think global on green issues

Sir: The letter from Geoff Brunstrom (22 June) illustrates one of the most fundamental problems facing the cause of conservation and environmental wisdom - that of political regionalism. It appears that, whenever one country offers advice and criticism over environmental policy in another, there is a sizeable response from the criticised which essentially says "keep your nose out of our business". This may all be well and good in business, political or economic matters, but it is absolutely unacceptable when it comes to environmental concerns.

The down side of pigeon English

There are three million pigeons in London. The Government licences a foodseller at Trafalgar Square to keep the tourists happy. Westminster Council, meanwhile, spends £50,000 a year cleaning up after the 1,000 pigeons that live in the square.

Seas too fragile to keep up fish catches

The oceans of the world are more vulnerable to overfishing than has been previously recognised, according to research published yesterday in the science journal Nature.

Letter : Fox-hunting necessary to protect ecological balance

From Mr Brian Wray

Venice is going down the pan

Venice, as you may know, is sinking. But now it is also stinking. Tonight's Encounters "Death of Venice" (7pm C4) gives us the pungent details.

SCIENCE / The answer lies in the soil: Do we need so many species? Hugh Aldersey-Williams on a remarkable new experiment

EXACTLY 150 years ago this month, three Icelandic fishermen set out on an infamous mission. Jon Brandsson and Sigourer Isleffson clubbed the two last Great Auks to death; Ketil Ketilsson put the boot into the last egg.

Legal fight planned to halt scorpion toxin test

LEGAL ACTION is being considered to stop tests of a pesticide carrying a scorpion toxin gene.

ART / Small objects of desire: Boyd Webb makes still lifes from balloons and nails and Anaglypta wallpaper. This is a world in which ordinary objects are made flesh - nasty, shrivelled, disconcerting flesh

In another life, Boyd Webb might have done well in advertising. The inventor of bizarre photographic tableaux, the deviser and recorder of enigmatic mises-en- scene harbouring emblematic intent, could so easily have been the Bartle Bogle Hegarty visualiser. As it is, Webb remains the unacknowledged influence behind untold numbers of ads. His artful, cunning and punning photographic tableaux were the models for Silk Cut and Benson & Hedges campaigns mounted the world over. The pay might be worse, in his field, but at least he can content himself with the knowledge that he is his own master.

THEATRE / Island race: Paul Taylor on Tim Firth's character-building comedy, Neville's Island in Nottingham

Neville's Island brings together two ubiquitous talents: Tony Slattery, the performer whose answering machine says, 'Yes, I'll do it]', and Tim Firth, the young writer whose word-processor whimpers for mercy. Firth had a fine new play on earlier this month at Alan Ayckbourn's theatre in Scarborough; he has a current TV series, All Quiet on the Preston Front, on BBC 1; and there's another (Once Upon a Time in the North) due out in the spring. Nottingham Playhouse now presents his 1992 play Neville's Island in a deft and highly enjoyable production by Jeremy Sams.

Letter: Britain must help to dilute acid rain

Sir: The UK media has devoted much space to the way in which I happened to characterise my colleague John Gummer (Secretary of State for the Environment) at a local election campaign meeting in Norway. My concern was, and is, that acid rain, in particular from the UK, is Norway's greatest single environmental problem, causing damage to my country in the order of hundreds of millions of pounds each year.

Letter: Politics and science in the whaling debate

Sir: Apparently the International Whaling Commission, according to Philip Hammond, the resigning chairman of its scientific committee, is 'dominated by an anti-whaling majority' whose reasons for rejecting a Revised Management Procedure were 'nothing to do with science . . . they were political' ('Head of whaling body quits over 'political move' ', 11 June).

BOOK REVIEW / The inestimable value of life on Earth: 'The Diversity of Life' - Edward O Wilson: Allen Lane, 22.50 pounds

TOLD he had shot one of the world's last two Imperial woodpeckers - the largest woodpecker of all - a Mexican truck driver said it was 'un gran pedazo de carne (a great piece of meat)'. There you have the simplest explanation of why life on Earth is passing through its most violent mass extinction spasm since the death of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Short-term, short-sighted human desires.

BOOK REVIEW / A real life turned into a fury tale: 'The Furies' - Janet Hobhouse: Bloomsbury, 15.99 pounds

IN THE first chapter of this autobiographical novel, Helen, the narrator, describes a recurrent dream which troubled her eight-year-old self. She is being chased by a 'great, white, grinding, groaning machine': 'it comes after me, swallowing, crunching the air in front of it, pursuing me doggedly, evenly'. On the last page, Helen, now in her thirties, is still fleeing the juggernaut. She knows it is only a matter of time before it catches her up.
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