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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

Album: Macy Gray, The Sellout (Concord/Island)

While The Sellout represents an improvement on Macy Gray's last couple of albums, it still suffers much of the same frustrating patchiness, that distinctively emotive voice squandered on material that simply doesn't deserve it, like the nondescript ballad "Still Hurts" and the grim duet with Bobby Brown, "Real Love".

'Worrying' slump in tree planting prompts fears of deforestation

Planting of new trees has fallen to its lowest level in more than three decades across Britain, leading conservationists said yesterday.

Deadly tree disease spreads

A deadly tree and plant disease first found in the UK in 2002 has spread to Wales, the Forestry Commission said today.

Has a cure been found for Dutch Elm Disease?

As Paul King toured the English countryside in the 1980s going about his work as a contractor cutting down trees ravaged by Dutch Elm Disease, he was always struck by two specimens close to his Essex home which in the midst of the countrywide destruction remained untouched by the killer fungus.

Polluted by profit: Johann Hari on the real Climategate

Global warming - and the worst environmental disasters - will only be tackled when green lobbyists in the US stop taking cash from Big Oil and Big Coal

DVD: Where The Wild Things Are (PG)

The once pioneering Spike Jonze helms this glum, languid take on Maurice Sendak's exquisitely illustrated, but not exactly verbose, children's tale of Max, a rowdy boy who tames and then frolics ("Let the wild rumpus begin") with a tribe of lumbering "wild things" in a faraway land. The first 15 minutes, which outline Max's relationship with his single mum (the excellent Catherine Keener), his fertile imagination and his loneliness, are very affecting. But it all descends into therapy-speak and grumpiness ("Will you keep out the sadness?") the moment we encounter the wild things. A frustrating and rather dull film for children – and adults.

Growing concern for missing Bristol man

Police are growing "increasingly concerned" for the welfare of a missing Bristol man, and have appealed for the public's help in locating him.

Disease threatens to fell Britain's historic oak trees

The english oak, the quintessential native tree which saved a monarch and defines the British landscape, is under grave threat from a little-understood new disease that forestry experts fear is spreading far more rapidly across the country than previously estimated.

Celtic Grand Tour brought back to life

Walk of the Month: The Cambrian mountains: Created during the Napoleonic wars, the vast Hafod estate fell on hard times. But Mark Rowe finds its fortunes are being revived

10 Best: Lake District attractions

1 The National’s Trust’s Steam Yacht Gondola celebrates 150 years of genteel cruising on Coniston Water in June (adults £15, children £7.50; nationaltrust.org.uk/gondola).

Wise owls cash in as vole population soars

The tawny owl population in one of the UK's largest forests is booming as a result of the harsh winter, a Forestry Commission expert said today.

Now Britain's oaks face killer disease

A new disease killing native oak trees could alter the British landscape even more than Dutch elm disease, woodland groups warned today as they called for more funding to tackle the problem.

'My 24-carat day out': How one woman became a modern poster girl for the ancient art of gold-panning

Wellington-booted feet planted deep into the riverbed, the current strong, and the nasty wind whipping around her ears, Daisy Thurkettle-Roper looks up and smiles. Oddly, the smile seems genuine, because despite the cold – and it is bloody freezing today – the woman appears to be enjoying herself. "Oh, but I am," she merrily insists. "It really is one of the most exciting things you can do, you know."

Mud on the tracks: Dalby Forest in North Yorkshire has a new World Cup trail for mountain bikers

It's early morning in the forest and I'm looking along a ridge where the mist-enshrined trees fade to a white light in the distance. It's beautiful, but I'm slightly distracted by the prospect of keeping my mountain bike upright on a fiendishly tricky trail that's weaving through the undergrowth. I splash through the puddles, lean into banks and attempt to absorb the bumps. Try as I might, though, I haven't got a hope of catching my riding buddy, who races ahead with a fluidity and grace I can only envy.

Furniture firm closes after spurning £1m

HJ Berry in administration after saying TV show's offer had too many conditions
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
Provence from £599pp
Apulia, Lecce and Vieste – Undiscovered Italy from £899pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

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

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

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

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

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week