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

Five spots for winter rambles

Nothing beats a good, blustery winter walk followed by some reheating by a real fire. Here are five spots to get the blood flowing...

Philip Le Roux: 'I became disillusioned with commercial forestry'

Cape Town is not exactly short of decent views. But the vista from Philip Le Roux's office window is breathtaking. Laid out before him are the sumptuous gardens of Kirstenbosch and the mountains behind as a backdrop, as if in a painting.

Lewis Blackwell: Copenhagen might dither, but the rest of us can get planting

Never mind Copenhagen, we can involve ourselves as growers and volunteers

Border lines: Planning a new garden? Don't bother with pen and paper, get tramping round your plot

Faced with a plot of ground to turn into a garden, a new gardener's instinct is to tackle the edges first, to work round the boundary. Perhaps this is a remnant of some atavistic urge to mark territory. Dogs lift legs. We plant clematis. Whatever the reason, it usually leads to a particular sort of garden layout: borders, generally too narrow to build up any depth in plant groups, all the way round the edge of the plot, a path making another circuit round the inside edge of the borders, or, if money and energy run out, leading up just one side of the plot, parallel with the boundary. There will be a bit of terracing or decking next to the house. Whatever ground is left becomes lawn. The centre of a design such as this becomes a centre by default, not so much a designed shape as a random happening.

Who says it's green to burn woodchips?

Woodchip power stations are set for a boom. But conservationists are increasingly challenging their green credentials. Special report by Graham Mole

At the cutting hedge of conservation

A slice of Britain: The National Hedgelaying Championship is much more than just flat caps and chainsaws. It showcases a unique countryside skill that the older generation is determined to pass on to the young

Look back at history, or get ahead for Christmas in the heart of England

British breaks: Northamptonshire

Legends of the fall: The golden, dying sunlight of autumn makes even drying seedheads look spectacular

Dylan Thomas said we should rage against the dying of the light. Though I can imagine many of us feel like stomping at the very least while the autumn nights get shorter, the dying of the light does have some advantages. As winter draws in, the sun moves through a lower arc in the sky, and light angles in the garden become much longer and more golden, lighting up leaves and drying seedheads as dusk approaches. And as we move closer to the winter solstice, the sun doesn't just travel a lower ' path across the sky, it also rises and sets further to the south every day, narrowing the angle from which sunlight appears.

Investigation under way after dogs die in woods

An investigation is under way after at least three dogs died and more fell ill after visiting a woodland area, Natural England said today.

Album: Darker My Love, 2 (Dangerbird/Strange Addiction)

Deep in the Los Angeles suburb of Silverlake, the long-dormant seeds of shoegazer drone-rock pioneers like Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine are finally bearing fruit through bands including Silversun Pickups and now Darker My Love, whose second album becomes the band's first UK release.

Album: Forest Fire, Survival, (Broken Sounds)

Some bands, you feel, work out what they want to sound like and then strive to capture the idea they have in their head.

The Hacker: For once the chips are down as gin proves the perfect tonic

Admittedly, it wasn't the best chip shot you've ever seen but it certainly didn't deserve the scorn that has been heaped on it over the past few days at Turnberry.

Win a unique stay in the midst of nature

Enter the draw for this fantastic prize courtesy of Forest Holidays and Tate Britain

Beavers return in full force

The mammal's comeback has had an instant impact on the Scottish environment, as Michael McCarthy witnesses

500,000 new customers weekly for Morrisons

Supermarket Morrisons today said it attracted half a million more new customers each week to its stores in the first quarter as like-for-like sales rose 7.3 per cent.

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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 15 May 2015
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Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

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Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
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Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
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BBC heads to the Californian coast

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