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.

Britain is heading towards a historic triple dip recession

Britain is tumbling towards a historic triple dip recession, official figures revealed today.

You call this snow?: The Coldest Winters in British History

Snow, snow and more snow.  The latest weather forecasts predict the temperature in Britain won't rise much about 0 for the next week, making this the coldest winter the country has seen for some time. But as cold as the winter of 2013 is turning out, it's a beach holiday in the Bahamas compared to the British winters of yesteryear.

North Sea oil and gas wells leap fuelled by tax breaks

Drilling for North Sea oil and gas took off last year, as a resurgence in the UK continental shelf pushed up the number of new exploration and appraisal wells by a third.

Spotlight on: Algy Cluff, Serial oil and gas entrepreneur

He sounds like something out of a PG Wodehouse novel.

North Sea set to create 50,000 new jobs as investment soars

North Sea employment is set to boom this year. Up to 50,000 new jobs are expected in Britain's oil and gas industry, according to analysis by a leading industry headhunter.

£1bn North Sea oil fields project approved

A £1 billion project to develop two oil fields in the North Sea has been given the go-ahead.

BG's new boss 'breached safety rules at Shell in the North Sea'

Oil & gas giant BG Group has asked a former Shell executive who was once accused of dangerous health and safety breaches in the North Sea to be its new boss.

The cold weather is likely to break on Friday, leading to a warmer but wetter weekend

Wintry showers set to return to the UK as December freeze continues

Some parts of the country will struggle to get above freezing on Wednesday and Thursday

Drops in production and higher spending on offshore fields are blamed for falling projected tax receipts from North Sea oil and gas

Fall in North Sea revenue is £8bn blow for SNP

Independence plans for Scotland rely heavily on gas and oil revenue

Ian Williams loses three of his four matches at Monsoon Cup finale

A reverse in fortunes saw defending world match racing champion Ian Williams lose three of his four matches at the Monsoon Cup finale of the World Match Racing Championship in Malaysia.

Oil wouldn't save independent Scotland, warns IFS

An independent Scotland could face deeper cuts to public spending than the rest of the UK, despite North Sea oil and gas revenues, the widely respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has concluded.

BG Group shares sink 14 per cent as output forecast gives causes for alarm

Shares in BG Group fell by 14 per cent to hit a two-year low yesterday after the gas producer that was spun out of British Gas admitted that its 2013 production forecasts were wrong and told the City not to expect any growth next year.

Britain's new licences for North Sea drilling

The UK handed out 167 new licences to drill for oil and gas in the North Sea yesterday, with BP, Shell, Centrica and France's Total among the biggest recipients.

Shell fired up for Fram gas boost

Shell said that its Fram field in the North Sea would be up and running within three years and will provide 5 per cent of Britain's gas at peak production, after winning government approval for the project.

19 people rescued from North Sea as helicopter carrying oil workers makes 'controlled ditching'

An investigation is underway after 19 people were today rescued when a helicopter carrying oil workers made a “controlled ditching” in the North Sea.

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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform