The chalkhill blue butterfly population has exploded on many of Britain's downs in July

A good year for nature in Britain, despite the cold: After frostiest March for 50 years, summer gave rise to an explosion in wildlife

'We had a wonderful July,' says National Trust specialist. 'The way nature fought back was miraculous; it went into overdrive'

Banana-nap: a woman rests at her banana stall in Manaus, Brazil

Why we must save the banana

The healthy snack is under threat, with insect plagues reducing global supplies. Rosie Millard wonders where we’d be without the lovable fruit and its comic potential

'Robot dragonfly' is the smallest and lightest self-navigating drone

The miniature robot weighs just 20g and can fly without human guidance; it could map abandoned buildings or masquerade as a fairy at a theme park

Toxic toys which can cause cancer have been seized at a Kent market

Cancer inducing toys seized from market stall

‘Fruit-head’ dolls which can also cause deformities in unborn babies and infertility in men have been found at a market in Kent

Scientists ‘incredibly concerned’ for fate of banana as plagues and fungus infections spread across world’s supplies

Warning comes as Costa Rica declares 'national emergency' over state of crop

The 10 Best Christmas puddings 2013

If you haven’t found time to make your Christmas pud, don’t despair. We select the finest of this fruity festive staple

British households threw away 7.2 million tons of food in 2011

Tales from the Water Cooler: Bottle sniffers are far worse than carrot fascists

I shop at Tesco. I tell you this not in a crass effort to get a tenner off my next shop, but to illustrate that I am quite close to the story about which I shall now ruminate. (Anyway, I shop at Tesco because it is closest to my house. As far as I’m concerned, an aisle is an aisle is an aisle, however it is branded.)

The bottle of Cole Cold Pear D fruit drink which killed Joromie Lewis

Man dies after drinking Cole Cold Pear-D juice laced with cocaine

The Food Standards Agency has issued a warning after a man died as a result of drinking pear juice laced with cocaine.

Anthony Rose: 'A magnum is the most generous way to celebrate'

Is there anything more festive than a magnum? Apart from a double magnum perhaps, a magnificent magnum is the most generous way to celebrate a great day with friends and family. It also keeps better than a bottle, so squirrel one away.

Weekend work: Time to prune trained fruit trees

WHAT TO DO

Wine: Something for the weekend?

Night in

Cambridge University's Trinity College

Don’t believe the hype: Oxbridge interviews are there to be enjoyed

If you're sat at home fretting about weird old dons setting fiendish logic puzzles - don't!

Boris Johnson said people with high IQs would succeed because 'the harder you shake the pack, the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top'

Boris Johnson fails to give any correct answers to IQ test live on air

Quiz came in the wake of the London mayor's comments controversial comments about poor people not succeeding because of low IQs

IQ row comments misinterpreted, says Boris Johnson

Mayor of London sparked a wave of criticism when he said that 16 per cent of 'our species' had an IQ of less than 85

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This artist impression shows a modern-day Atlantis
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Vladimir Putin fixes a GPS satellite transmitter onto a tiger in 2008
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Animals found with 'puncture holes the size of a human finger'

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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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Fraud contributes 11p to a £2.00 box of half a dozen eggs
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital