News The new series of 'The Voice' got underway last weekend

ITV makes complaint in its submission into the Culture Committee's inquiry into the future of the BBC

Police launch hunt for killers of seal pups shot dead

Island massacre: Detectives begin house-to-house inquiries after 'horrendous and harrowing' attack on remote Scottish shore

Comeback for corncrake

One of Britain's most endangered birds, the corncrake, shows signs of coming back from the brink. For two years running its numbers have increased in the Hebridean islands and Orkney where it has made its last stand.

OBITUARY: Alastair Mackie

Alastair Mackie was a Scots makar; a skilled wordsmith and an incorrigibly restless and cross-grained literary archaeologist. Add to this an imagination that often saw the world as dark and foreboding, and we can glimpse something of what made Mackie an important Scots poet.

Orkney seafood too hot to handle

AS THE heat wave that covered much of Britain drew to a close yesterday, diners wanting to enjoy shellfish on the Orkneys became the latest victims of last week's high temperatures.

Orkney fears the perfect murderer

Crime/ 'Tandoori' killing

THE TWICKENHAM BATTLE FIVE NATIONS SHOWDOWN: England's talent and experience can tip the balance in key areas while Scots seek action replay of 1990

Pride revives the Flower of Scotland in its hour of need Ronnie Browne, artist, musician and celebrity supporter, explains what it means to be a bearer of the tartan

Abuse and the serial offenders

The Ayrshire report reveals familiar deficiencies in investigating child-sex cases, argues Allan Levy

`Ritual abuse' families tell of years of hell

Parents bitterly attack Ayrshire social workers whose reports robbed them of their children.

Nightmare is over for `ritual abuse' families

BY JOHN ARLIDGE

Looking towards Orkney from a warm Wiltshire bed

I was saying yesterday that writers are often a long way from the scene of their books when they get down to writing about them - that they have to withdraw a certain distance from an exotic locale to get it in perspective and feel the full effect of it. And that maybe the same is true of the way we should read books. That is, when you or I go to the West Indies, we shouldn't read a book set in the West Indies, we should read something set in Scandinavia. Which explains why I have recently spent a lot of time in Orkney.

Equestrianism: Boon guides Britain home: One mistake costs team leader another individual title

TERRY BOON led the British team to a second successive victory in the Young Riders' European Championships, which were part of the Blenheim Audi International Horse Trials. But Boon's chance of repeating last year's individual win disappeared when his mount, Vital Decision, dislodged a rail from the penultimate fence in yesterday's show jumping.

BOOK REVIEW / Thorfinn the thunder god: Beside the ocean of time - George Mackay Brown: John Murray pounds 14.99

GEORGE Mackay Brown's new novel, which was last week voted on to the Booker shortlist, begins thus: 'Of all the lazy useless boys who ever went to Norday school, the laziest and the most useless was Thorfinn Ragnarson.' This is pure Mackay Brown: an Orkney setting, an ugly duckling hero, the blindness of society to the qualities of the poet, a nudge of humour. The novel is obliquely autobiographical, the story of an unfolding imagination woven into an island's experience of change. It has the magic, but none of the fey rococo, of Virginia Woolf's Orlando.

Wild goose chase

SCOTTISH Natural Heritage is to recruit a human scarecrow at pounds 4 an hour to chase barnacle geese off farmland on the island of South Walla, Orkney.

Wildlife experts are baffled by deaths of seal pups

CONSERVATIONISTS are to investigate the deaths of 40 seal pups amid fears of an outbreak of a mystery virus.

Travel: A family guide to summer Britain: Scotland

IT'S NOT hard to conjure up the image of a perfect family holiday in Scotland: messing about in boats, scrambling up hills, spotting eagles, pony-trekking in the glens, and long days rounded off by spectacular sunsets. But it's easy to go wrong in practice. There is scope for a horror movie based on being rained-in on a midge-infested island for two weeks with a houseful of children - who then decide that Scrabble isn't the most exciting game on earth.
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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
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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
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz