Life and Style Large breeding snails of the 'gros gris' variety in Helen Howard's production unit

Heliculturists have increased production 25-fold since 2000. Cahal Milmo meets some and finds out why more home cooks and chefs are shelling out

Amec raises £707m from sale of French division

Amec, the engineering and project management group, yesterday unveiled the £707m sale of its French arm to the private equity group which owns Kwik-Fit and United Biscuits.

Buy Of The Week: Normandy

It took two years to breathe new life into a 17th-century manor house near Cherbourg. Mary Wilson reports

Racing: Dods keeps up double roll

Michael Dods's rich vein of form continued at Beverley yesterday when the Darlington-based trainer saddled his third double in four days. He had been on the mark with a brace at Ayr on Saturday and repeated the feat at Musselburgh on Monday before Three Pennies and Rotuma added to his tally on the Westwood.

Mussel bound

Freshwater mussels are the cornerstone of river ecology. But some, such as the aptly named depressed mussel, are under threat. Simon Hadlington reports on work to boost their numbers, and a potential spin-off for water companies

Leading Article: Out of their shells

SNAILS. THE French eat them, you know, but we have to confess a certain admiration. Others may rush about frenetically, but you can't hurry a snail. By contrast, tortoises live life in the fast lane. So it is particularly pleasing to notice the growing popularity of snail racing, evidenced by the turn-out in London yesterday for the Guinness Gastropod Championship. Most sporting spectacles - our minds, for some reason, turn to an England innings - tend to be over all too quickly. However, your snail gives value.

Mussels that can mend their own genes offer chance of new cancer treatments

A DEEP-SEA mussel that can mend its own genes is helping scientists to devise new treatments for cancer and diseases caused by damage to DNA.

Football: Vale's Foyle spoils brave comeback by Grimsby

MARTIN FOYLE came off the bench to secure stylish Port Vale's second home win yesterday after Grimsby Town had threatened a second-half comeback in the First Division meeting. The veteran Foyle tucked home a close-range shot after fine work on the right by the impressive Marcus Bent to complete the 3-1 victory.

Parliament: The Sketch: Blair juggles a petrol bomb, an octopus and a Ming vase

I LOOKED upon Mr Blair with some awe and curiosity yesterday. Here was a man simultaneously attempting to control a potentially contagious war in the Balkans, finesse the Byzantine politics of the European Commission and prevent a fragile peace in Northern Ireland from falling apart.

Crofters under fire over threat to mussels

A COLONY of rare mussels, prized for its pearls, is under threat from a community of crofters accused of putting money before nature.

Quizzing First Direct's Octopus

"LOOK WE'RE not Brain of Britain you know," said an unhappy First Direct spokesman through gritted teeth yesterday as the tension started to tell.

Is this the answer to everything? The answer to everything now available

IF YOU are the sort of person who has always wanted to know how to translate "no chicken curry" into 27 languages, or where you can find some Boeing 747 landing lights for your garden, a new information service promises to find out the answer for you, as well as informing you how long it takes to get to Timbuktu.

Bay watch team fights limpet abuse

MARINE BIOLOGISTS call them "the hard men of the rocky shores". Protected by their conical shells from the buffeting of the waves, the resilient creatures cling stubbornly to Britain's coastline, munching on seaweed and playing an important role in the ecology of the marine environment.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried