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.

Seismic survey doubles estimate for Xcite's Bentley field

The prospect of a resurgence in Britain's long-declining North Sea oil industry received a boost today when the explorer Xcite Energy revealed that its giant Bentley oil field held 134 million barrels more than previously thought – worth about $14bn (£9bn) at current prices.

A council gritter spreads grit on roads

Britain braces for another icy blast as snow sweeps in again

Amber 'be prepared' warnings for snow have been issued by the Met Office for many parts of Scotland

Billy Bragg

Folk music roots honour for Billy Bragg at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Billy Bragg is to be honoured at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for his contribution to traditional music.

Oil leak closes North Sea oil pipeline

A leak on a North Sea platform has forced the closure of a major pipeline system supplying UK oil, it has emerged.

Boyd Tonkin: The new wave of 'Nordic' noir comes from within the UK. Wrap up warm!

British readers won't need a passport, or even chunky knitwear Sofie Grabol-style, to visit the source of the next wave of Nordic noir.

Man found dead in Monifieth as Scotland suffers freezing conditions

An elderly man has been found dead by his partner close to a school in freezing conditions.

North Sea crash helicopter suffered gearbox failure

A helicopter carrying 19 people was forced to ditch in the North Sea due to a gearbox failure, according to an Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report.

Clegg under fire after heavy losses

A former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader has criticised Nick Clegg in the aftermath of heavy losses at the local government elections.

Snow brings warm spell to an abrupt end

Sub-zero temperatures sweep Scotland and Northern and central England, but London and the south east look set to escape the snow.

2012 London Olympic Torch

John O'Groats residents angry over 'fake' Olympic Flame visit

The Olympic Torch is scheduled to begin its epic journey across almost every conceivable inch of the country, a little predictably, at Land’s End.

BP strikes deal to drill new oil well

BP will begin a highly controversial campaign of drilling for oil in the deep waters off the Shetland coast within days, after a green light from the Government.

Anger over George Osborne's North Sea bid

Green campaigners have reacted angrily to the Chancellor's backing for fossil fuels, which included £3 billion in support for new drilling in the North Sea.

Fishing skippers fined £720,000

Seventeen skippers behind one of Scotland's biggest fishing scams have been fined a total of £720,000.

Blizzards to batter UK again

Snow and high winds are set to batter parts of the UK over the weekend, forecasters warn.

Deception Island: Here, the remains of a whaling station lie on an active Antarctic volcano

Polar Holidays: Follow in the tracks of Captain Scott

Chris Leadbeater looks at some ice-cool trips to mark the centenary of the explorer's epic journey

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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor