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
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project