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.

BP puts tax hike aside to invest £3bn in North Sea

BP is spending £3bn to redevelop two North Sea oilfields, despite tax increases outlined in the Budget.

Tax tweak to encourage North Sea oil investment

The government has tweaked the tax rules for North Sea oil and gas production after the protests that greeted the tax increases outlined in the Budget.

This coast's so wild they build lighthouses on wheels

The North Sea Trail aims, one day, to link 7,000 miles of paths across the northern edges of Europe. Mark Rowe reports from Denmark

Sperm whale dies on beach 'after getting lost'

A 44ft (13.4m) sperm whale which became beached probably died because it got lost, a marine expert involved in the rescue bid said yesterday.

North Sea production slumps after Budget tax hike

North Sea oil production has slowed to its lowest level since records began 15 years ago following the Chancellor's recent tax raid on the industry.

EnCore calls off XEO flotation

EnCore Oil has cancelled the flotation of its new company, citing difficult market conditions due to Britain's recent decision to raise taxes for North Sea-focused oil and gas explorers. EnCore, which had earlier planned to float XEO Exploration, said the market's appetite for the UK North Sea had diminished ever since the tax raise was announced.

Outputs are up, but still fail to match expectations

Fears that the manufacturing revival is losing pace were confirmed in the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. The ONS said that manufacturing output rose by 0.2 per cent, better than the zero recorded in February but well below the usual monthly boost over the past year or so. A boost in North Sea gas volumes helped push overall industrial production up by 0.6 per cent over February, also below market expectations.

David Prosser: The wind will blow and we shall have jobs

Outlook Lord make me chaste – but not yet. The Committee on Climate Change's report on Monday had an Augustine ring to it, suggesting that while offshore wind has a big role to play eventually in helping Britain meet its renewable energy commitments, the cost of the technology means relying on it for the 2020 round of targets might not be such a good idea.

Soaring tax bill leads Centrica to cut back on UK investment

Centrica warned yesterday that the Government's surprise extra tax on North Sea oil and gas would hit profit growth this year and cause the company to scale back investment.

North Sea firms hit out at 'very, very damaging' tax

The Chancellor's decision to raise the tax charge on North Sea oil firms in his Budget in March came as a "huge shock" to the industry, a Parliamentary committee heard yesterday.

Fears for North Sea oil and gas after UK tax hit

Officials representing the UK's oil and gas industry will this week attempt to persuade the biggest multinationals against pulling investments from the North Sea in the wake of the Government's recent tax rise.

Sunny Easter expected across the UK

The ghost of summer future seems to be haunting our spring.

Crew rescued from swamped North Sea rig

Nineteen crew members were evacuated from a mobile rig in the North Sea today after becoming swamped by the rising tide, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

David Prosser: Gesture politics that cost £2bn

Outlook So that went well. The RAC reports that, on average, petrol now costs 2p a litre more than it did before the Budget a fortnight ago, when George Osborne produced his 1p cut in duty with such a flourish. We might give the Chancellor some credit – without the 1p reduction petrol would, of course, be 3p a litre more expensive – but not much: this was a piece of political grandstanding that proved to be an empty gesture in the context of pressures from the oil market.

BP to kick off auction of £400m stake in Wytch Farm oil field

BP will kick-off the auction of its £400m controlling stake in Wytch Farm in Dorset, western Europe's biggest onshore oil field, in the next two weeks.

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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

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Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

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Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

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Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

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