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.

Hockney's 'Woldgate Woods, 21, 23 & 29 November 2006' will be shown at the Royal Academy exhibition

Hockney has all the time in the Wolds

The artist's epic, tranquil paintings illuminate a little-visited corner of Yorkshire, says Christopher Hirst

James Moore: Osborne's got it right over North Sea oil tax

Outlook According to the oil industry George Osborne was effectively shutting the North Sea down when he hiked the supplementary charge on producers to 32 per cent from 20 per cent.

Deals of the week: Amsterdam, Rome, Nepal

Less than £200... Going Dutch

The Saturday Quiz answers

1. Drinks: Tristam Shandy; Cider with Rosie; Whisky Galore; Bitter Sweet

David Prosser: North Sea investment? What about that tax hike?

Outlook In the context of the row over the 50p top rate of tax and the arguments about new levies on banks, the announcement made by BP yesterday makes interesting reading. Isn't the sizeable – and very welcome – investment it is making in the North Sea exactly the sort of development for which the oil industry told us this year's Budget would spell doom?

North Sea Scrolls, Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh<br/>Beardyman, Assembly Hall, Edinburgh<br/>Amanda F*cking Palmer, HMV Picture House, Edinburgh

Never mind the stand-ups, the best humour in Edinburgh came from an unlikely trio who delivered a secret history of the United Kingdom

Book Of A Lifetime: The Accidental Tourist, By Anne Tyler

Asking a book lover to choose her book of a lifetime is a little like asking Casanova to pick his love of a lifetime; but if I have to, that book must be 'The Accidental Tourist' by Anne Tyler. A friend's mother recommended it to me back in the Eighties. We were sitting on the veranda while the slow sun set over the dark-blue North Sea and I was bemoaning the lack of "my kind of books". By this, I meant books that combined the best qualities of literary and commercial fiction the way the classics do; books where the writer's voice and view of the world delights and surprises, where the story and the characters seduce you along from page to page.

Shell admits risk of further spill

Hundreds of tonnes of oil could still be inside an offshore pipeline which has been leaking for a week.

BP struggles to fill vacancies

As unemployment hovers around the 2.5 million mark, BP is the latest employer to complain about a shortage of skilled recruits.

BP struggles to recruit engineers

A shortage of skilled engineers is threatening to hamper efforts by BP to boost production in the North Sea, a senior executive has said.

Oil leak detected on North Sea platform

A leak has been discovered on a North Sea oil platform owned by Royal Dutch Shell.

Enquest cashes in on rising oil prices

Enquest, the North Sea-focused oil company, posted a 145 per cent hike in profits yesterday as rising oil prices boosted its bottom line over the first half of the year.

Lost at sea &ndash; the &#163;1bn of wasted cod

Almost £1bn worth of North Sea cod has been discarded by UK fishing vessels since 1963.

A Day That Shook The World: First hovercraft run

On 25 July 1959, the fiftieth anniversary of Louis Blériot's successful flight across the English Channel, a totally new form of transport made its own first crossing of the Channel - the hovercraft.

There are scores of islands for sale at bargain prices but is living in splendid isolation haven or hell?

Don't let the romance get in the way of the reality, says Graham Norwood
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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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve