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
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'