Environment The Nathusius’ pipistrelle weighs just 7.6g and is the size of a human thumb

A tiny bat the size of a human thumb has become the first to be recorded crossing the North Sea from Britain to mainland Europe – before meeting an untimely end in the Netherlands.

Anti-fracking protests hit headlines during test drilling in Balcombe in August 2013

David Cameron goes 'all out for shale' with tax boost for councils willing to approve projects

Environmentalists accuse Prime Minister of trying to 'bribe' local authorities

The Fisheries minister, George Eustice, is today preparing to defy scientists by demanding higher cod quotas – in the latest instance of the Government going against expert environmental advice

Defiant Fisheries minister calls for increase in cod fishing

George Eustice argues that reducing quotas will result in more fish being discarded – at least until 2016, when a discard ban begins to be applied

The novel cure: Distrust of visionaries

Literary prescriptions for modern ailments

Dismay for green lobby as fracking is given the go-ahead

Hefty tax breaks for fracking firms announced by the Chancellor yesterday immediately came under fire from MPs and environmental groups, who warned that they were “unwarranted” and could even be illegal.

Helicopter crash Glasgow: Inquiry into Clutha Vaults accident could take months

An initial bulletin detailing the basic events of the Glasgow pub helicopter crash could well be issued soon by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) team.

Chemring soar as the defence group unveils plans to divest units

The bomb-detector maker Chemring has drawn up plans to sell off non-core units in a move the company hopes will boost both its finances and its flagging share price.

Hill and Dale: The lofty view from Errington

Tales from the Trees: Errington Wood, North Yorks - Take to the high ground for a look back over the millennia

Even before you've consulted the car park signs, you just know this hump-backed wood heaves with history. There's something about its location that speaks of ancient concerns: positioning, clear lines of vision, the importance of higher ground. Then, as my wife dons a pack and I lift my son on to my shoulders, we pass information boards that confirm it. Stone Age man quarried here; by the Bronze Age, it had been re-imagined as a resting spot for chieftains. One look around and you understand why.

Centrica fuels fears that UK is running out of gas

The Government was accused of playing fast and loose with Britain’s energy security last night after Centrica finally lost patience with its refusal to offer subsidies to bolster the country’s gas supplies and pulled out of a deal to build two major new storage projects.

Protesters at Balcombe, Sussex

Balcombe protesters to be evicted as Ed Davey contradicts David Cameron’s claim that fracking boom can bring down energy bills

Six-week protest outside a potential fracking site in West Sussex village dealt a blow as eviction order is served

Closure threat to Ineos plant in Grangemouth

Ineos is considering closing down one of its plants in Scotland because of rising costs and a fall in the production of gas from the North Sea.

Dominic Elliott was assistant to David Hockney (pictured)

David Hockney's assistant died after drinking acid at artist’s Bridlington home

Day of alcohol and drugs ended with fatality as the ill painter slept, inquest hears

Postcard from... Juist

Chloe McCardel ends attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida after being stung by jellyfish

Australian endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel ended her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida after 11 hours in the water when she was stung by a jellyfish.

The Kulluk oil rig near Sitkalidak Island, pictured earlier this year

Climate change threat to North Sea oil and gas output from increasingly intense storms caused by global warming

Bigger waves could damage oil rig platforms and make it harder for staff to do their jobs

Two men charged with endangering an aircraft after Pakistan Airlines flight was diverted over UK

Armed police boarded the flight at Stansted airport after an RAF Typhoon jet was scrambled to escort the Boeing 777

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste