Travel Here’s looking at yew: the Borrowdale trees

The continuous ridge of russet, stone-strewn lakeland mountain encircles a valley floor as flat as a paddy field. Lights of farms are beginning to spark and the cries of tawny owls reverberate around the bowl of darkening fells. In the distance, sunset pinks the snow-dusted peak of Glaramara. It is a suitable stage to approach the most notable trees of northern England.

Postcard from... Montejo de la Sierra

Locals sometimes claim that the centuries-old grove of beech trees in Montejo de la Sierra in Spain is the most southerly in Europe or indeed the world. Not true – that honour goes to a beechwood on the slopes of Mount Etna. But even so there is little doubt the  beech grove running alongside the edge of the River Jarama just north of Madrid is among Spain’s most beautiful and ancient, as well as being very rare for these latitudes.

Hill and Dale: The lofty view from Errington

Tales from the Trees: Errington Wood, North Yorks - Take to the high ground for a look back over the millennia

Even before you've consulted the car park signs, you just know this hump-backed wood heaves with history. There's something about its location that speaks of ancient concerns: positioning, clear lines of vision, the importance of higher ground. Then, as my wife dons a pack and I lift my son on to my shoulders, we pass information boards that confirm it. Stone Age man quarried here; by the Bronze Age, it had been re-imagined as a resting spot for chieftains. One look around and you understand why.

The larch trees are infected with a fungus-like disease

Parts of ancient Wentwood Forest cut down because of tree disease

Parts of forest, near Newport, infected by Phytophthora ramorum

Four police officers face charges over mentally ill man Thomas Orchard's death in custody

Four police officers could face criminal charges over the death of a mentally ill church caretaker who was restrained when he was arrested following a disturbance in the street, The Independent has learned.

Save the ash tree? Half of us can’t even recognise an oak

An appeal for the public to report tree disease has merely revealed our arboreal ignorance

Ashes to ashes: The aftermath of last week’s fire near Yarnell, Arizona

Climate change fanned the flames of the Arizona wildfire

Out of America: As summers get hotter we will see more blazes like the one that killed 19 firefighters last week

The lonesome pines: a third of conifer species put on endangered list

More than a third of the world’s conifer species are threatened with extinction as a result of urbanisation, logging, disease and feral goats, according to an alarming new report.

My Tent Or Yours, under A P McCoy, wins the Novices Hurdle

Grand National: Attaglance aims to prove he is worth a look

The vacancy left by Big Buck’s at Cheltenham was worthily filled by Solwhit and, having won on this card in the past, he has obvious prospects of following up in the John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle today. But he did have a hard race at the Festival, and a sporting chance is taken with one who was tough enough to win fiercely contested handicaps at both meetings last year.

The 10 Best ciders

Forget the cheap stuff at the back of the supermarket fridge, properly made scrumpy is the drink of the gods.

Green world: Bedgebury National Pinetum in Kent

Rob Cowen: A Noah's Ark of conifers just an hour south of London

Tales From The Trees

Man held after woman's body is found in Chichester house

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a woman's body was found by a colleague who was due to take her to work.

The spotty laurel, Aucuba japonica

Jolly green giants: How to pick enviable evergreens

Some say every garden needs an evergreen. But which one to choose – the prettiest or the hardiest? Anna guides you through the picking process.

Last count: Cubans at a Mayan ritual last week

Doomsayers await the end of the world – on 21/12/12

But governments try to reassure their citizens not to panic

Weekend work: Time to liberate terracotta pots

What to do

Size matters: Be careful when choosing a new tree or you might have a monster on your hands

Now is the perfect time to plant a new tree but you need to choose well – and put in the after-care, says Anna Pavord

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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 1 May 2015
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VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

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Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
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New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
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A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
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He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
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Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
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Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
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Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

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Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

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Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected