News Erena Wilson was struck by a cedar branch in wet and windy weather

It was “a fluke” that only one person was killed by a falling tree branch in Kew Gardens last year, an inquest heard today.

A green scheme is stalled

Customer complaints have prompted Bank of Scotland to drop the promotion of a free prize draw for a car to people taking out its environmentally friendly GreenCard credit card.

Visual Arts: Heat and dust

Stephen Cox has been creating sculpture in India for 10 years. Once criticised for neo-colonialism, and attacked by Muslims, he is now feted in New Delhi. By David Cohen

Dear Mrs Moreland

Lesley Moreland was an ordinary woman from Potter's Bar until the night her daughter Ruth was murdered. For her, the only way to come to terms with her loss was to face the guilty man. But her eventual peace of mind came from a most unlikely source: the letters of a condemned killer in Huntsville Penitentiary, Texas. Report by Rebecca Fowler. Portrait by Kalpesh Lathigra

The great and green back 'megaphone of good news'

Geoffrey Lean reports on an environmental body with backers ranging from celebrities to Tesco

No daring, no imagination, just cycle paths

The Millennium Commission has made a big mistake in rejecting the Cardiff Opera House, says Peter Popham

Six of the best: fungal forays

Stanton Park car park at Postern Hill, Glos (01793 764649) Organised by the Cotswold Fungus group, this is one of a regular round of mushroom hunts throughout the autumn. The foray is followed by a pub lunch at the Jolly Huntsman at Kington St Michael

metropolitan life: THE shortlist TEN UNUSUAL MUSEUMS

IN LONDON ...

Heatwave steams towards the record books

It really is a scorcher, all over the world. According to Meteorological Office climate experts, 1995 has an excellent chance of being the world's hottest year since global temperature records began more than 100 years ago.

Who was who in Alice's Wonderland

A new book identifies eminent Victorians such as Darwin and Ruskin as the inspiration for some of Lewis Carroll's exotic characters. Marianne Macdonald reports on the decoding of a classic

Dorrell lines up contenders for millennium cash

Plans to mark the millennium were unveiled yesterday by Stephen Dorrell, the Secretary of State for National Heritage. He announced that 83 applications had been selected by the Millennium Commission for "detailed appraisal" to decide which will be worthy of grants.

City of churches searches for its soul

THE GOOD CITY CENTRE GUIDE 4: NORWICH; East Anglia's capital has carved out a modern role for itself without resorting to simplistic historical packaging. Peter Dormer explains

Out with the petal patrol

Apart from the odd plant thief and fainting pensioner a Kew policeman's lot is a happy one, says Paul George

YOU AND YOUR GARDEN - JANE'S TOP 10 TIPS FOR SUCCESS

1 Choose plants to suit your soil and climate; eg, don't make polythene-lined pockets in chalk gardens so you can grow azaleas. The specific conditions in your garden are what give it its unique character - otherwise all gardens would look the same.

A lifelong quest to save man's closest relative

Jim White talks to Birute Galdikas about her work to save the orang-utan, an animal the public knows mainly as a co-star in Clint Eastwood movies
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all