Travel Hannah and Chico take the long way round Wales

How one travel-writer's innovative journey round the Welsh coast led to a starring role for her four-legged companion

The Hacker: Arrested development after police inspector lays down law

Among the tell-tale signs of approaching spring last week were daffodils, crocuses, primroses and an old fool proving once more how treacherous it is to emerge from a long winter feeling as if the green shoots of improvement are creeping up your trouser leg.

Village People: Hit for six

One of the most important skills of the political spin-doctors is managing expectations.

Philip Hensher: Deep in the enchanted forest, a very English sensibility has stirred

Forests are places of dapplement, of light and shade. At the back of everything is Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest, turning the social hierarchy upside down

We got it wrong on forests, says Spelman

The Government was forced into a humiliating U-turn today as it scrapped controversial plans to privatise England's public forests.

Protesters celebrate forests U-turn

Charities across the UK have welcomed the decision, announced today by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, to abandon controversial plans to privatise England's public forests.

Forest farce: Cameron to axe sell-off policy

The highly contentious plans for a £250m sale of England's forests will be abandoned because of the furious backlash that has hit the Government.

Michael McCarthy: Our climate isn't the only green concern

This Government has conflated "the environment" with climate change; the rest is forgotten

Forest sell-off 'threatens rare wildlife'

Concerns have been raised over the fate of threatened wildlife such as red squirrels and nightjars in woods which could be sold to private companies under Government plans.

Leading article: The folly of allowing ideology to drive policy

The government experienced two humiliating reversals yesterday.

Sale of state woodland on hold to allow more guarantees for public

The sale of nearly 100,000 acres of publicly-owned woodlands was put on hold yesterday amid growing public anger over moves to privatise much of England's forest estate.

Forest sales put on hold

The Government put the sale of 40,000 hectares of publicly owned forests on hold today amid growing anger over plans to dispose of all of England's public forests.

Letters: Alternative Vote

Why we should vote down AV

Lib Dems call for forest sale re-think

Senior Liberal Democrats called on the Government today to "reconsider" plans to sell off parts of England's public forests.

Environment Secretary under fire over forest sale

The Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman came under fire from MPs in all parties yesterday as she defended her controversial plans to sell off England's public forests. Ministers admitted privately that they had not explained it properly and were being inundated with protest letters and emails. More than 360,000 people have signed a "save our forests" petition.

Britain's forests are being sold off - and nature lovers are up in arms

Peter Marren meets the people whose livelihoods may face the axe
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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 20 February 2015
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003