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.

Scotland: Take a hike through Neverland

Peter Pan author JM Barrie was born in a Scottish landscape that is far from fairy tale, says Mark Rowe

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails & online postings (1 November 2009)

Peter Stanford says that for 470 years the Church of England has "... been walking a careful middle line, halfway between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism..." ("Has the Pope outfoxed the Archbishop", 25 October). The position on the Protestant-Catholic continuum varied in accordance with the views of the reigning monarch. So, Henry VIII was more "Catholic" than his son Edward, who was more "Protestant" than Elizabeth I. The debate about the nature of the Church of England became a feature of the English Civil War, not as a result of the need to tread a middle line, but because of the growth of the Protestant Puritan faction. The Church of England's Anglo-Catholics may want to trace their line back 470 years, but it is doubtful that it can be traced further than the 19th century, to Newman and the Oxford Movement.

Hit & Run: Find a branch near you

The Met Office has declared that this autumn is officially an Indian summer, predicting balmy temperatures of 21C in the South-east and Midlands tomorrow. What better way to celebrate the arrival of "summer" – and save some money during half-term – than with some leaf peeping? This activity – taking a walk in the woods to admire the glorious leaves, not spying on your neighbour through the garden hedge – has been popular in the US for years. But while New England's trees certainly put on an impressive display, our own woodlands also make a splendid seasonal splash. Here are some of the best spots for kaleidoscopic leafy loveliness.

Hell's bells! The joy of Morris Dancing

Beards, silly outfits and wooden sticks &ndash; the traditional English dance has been the butt of jokes for decades. So can a new movie celebrating its charms teach us to appreciate it? Jonathan Brown joins the throng

Slovakia: Wellness is the word in the alps of the east

Fresh air, pure water and invigorating exercise. Steve Connor takes a restorative break in Slovakia's High Tatras before the snow sets in.

Ready to Wear: A small yellow creature took off from the surface of an as-yet unworn scarf

This week I will mostly be eating humble pie. About two years ago now, British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman felt compelled to write a feature in her magazine about moths. How banal, I thought to myself. And this in one of the world's most aspirational and inspirational publications.

Katy Holland: Accommodation that's geared up for kids

Are We There Yet? Who needs a plain old ensuite with sea view when you can have a converted cave

Fears grow for 700 villagers trapped by mudslides

Rescuers were working frantically yesterday to airlift villagers from remote communities in Southern Taiwan amid growing fears for the lives of more than 700 people trapped by enormous mudslides after Typhoon Morakot ravaged the island.

Everything about The Palm is on the big side: the steaks, the burgers, the desserts...the bill

The Palm, 1 Pont Street, London SW1, tel: 020 7201 0710

Pastures new: A garden can be a poignant reminder of the person who tended it

Adrian Padfield made a most generous bid for me in The Independent's Christmas auction. He intended it as a present for his wife, Gillian, a keen gardener and expert flower arranger, but tragically, in early January, she died. The garden became a painful thing for him to confront, stitched through with the plants his wife had chosen (many of them specially for her flower arranging) and which she, over the 20 years they had been in their home, had looked after. For her sake, Dr Padfield wanted the garden to continue. But, though he had been involved in its planning and construction, the actual plants in it were in many cases a mystery to him. Before he could learn what needed to be done with them, he had to know what they were.

Jerusalem, Royal Court Downstairs, London<br/>The Apple Cart, Theatre Royal, Bath<br/>Bassline, Barbican Centre Car Park, London

The Theatre Downstairs has turned into a wooded dell. Leafy trees arc over the stage and a girl in a satin slip stands by a recently axed trunk, quietly singing William Blake's "Jerusalem", as if it's a mournful folksong: "And did those feet in ancient time ...".

The Other, By David Guterson

David Guterson first came to prominence in 1994 with his memorably named novel, Snow Falling on Cedars. As befits a Seattle-based writer, he then wrote a series of novels featuring outdoorsie loners who were at one with nature and the wild. This latest novel follows a friendship between two teenage boys from different sides of the tracks: John William Barry, the scion of one of Washington's smartest families, and Neil Countryman, a carpenter's son. Brought together by a distain for the "organised social world" and a love of Japanese Haiku's, the friends stay in touch as adults.

Small Talk: Accsys talks tough on trees

Despite not being able to spell, Accsys (pronounced Access) Technologies is a company on the march.

Epic trip to trace the remotest of our native butterflies

The latest stage of our hunt involves an uncomfortable visit to the Highlands

Man jailed for plotting ex-wife's murder

A businessman has been sentenced to life for hiring a business associate to murder his ex-wife.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

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Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

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Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
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French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

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