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Andrew Martin: I'd let the French run our trains

Their approach to railways is at once hard-headed and romantic
According to a new book, increasing numbers of rivers in towns and cities in Britain are now so clean that anglers are fly-fishing in them for trout and grayling, which are specialised clean-water species

Look what’s struggling to swim the Thames now… trout

Previously filthy watercourses are now teeming with fish, a new book reveals

Bear Grylls

Life on the breadline, by Bear Grylls

I'm in London, I've left my job with the Discovery Channel in the US, and the houseboat fridge is dangerously low on supplies.

Compulsive, obsessive, repetitive

Artists have been driven to make painstaking sculptures out of sugar cubes, fish scales and other unusual materials for a new exhibition at Towner contemporary

Around the world in 80 dishes No. 47: Hot smoked trout salad

Ingredients to serve 4

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Glory in the splendour that is the month of May

Writing about the natural world is of necessity seasonal. Social Studies, say, or Economic Studies need make no reference to the time of year, but when your theme is Nature you can scarcely avoid it. And having now written 51 weekly examples of Nature Studies, beginning in late April last year with reflections on the blackthorn, and moving on through harebells in high summer, sweet chestnuts in autumn and alpine birds in mid-winter, I find myself back where I began, blossom-surrounded and birdsong-showered – knocking on the door of May.

How I Ended This Summer (12A)

Starring: Grigory Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis, Igor Chernevich

£100 million cash boost for English waterways

More than £100 million is being provided to help improve England's rivers for wildlife such as otters and trout, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said today.

Victoria Summerley: We must educate the public not to use a river as a dump

My local river is the Wandle. It gives its name to Wandsworth, where I live, and anyone who has ever been through south-west London has probably crossed it without knowing, because there are long underground stretches. But whereas many Thames tributaries live secret, subterranean lives, the Wandle frequently bursts forth - through the parklands of Beddington and Morden Hall, for example.

A feast in Moscow: Mark Hix used local ingredients to cook up a banquet on a recent trip to Russia

A couple of weeks ago, my head chef, Kevin Gratton, accompanied me on a trip to Moscow to cook for three nights at the Soho Rooms, a relatively new club with a restaurant where Laura Bridge, an old friend of mine, does all the cooking.

Fillet of trout with split peas and clams

Serves 4

Pollution leaves murky waters at Paxman's favourite fishing spot

Sewage treatment plant suspected as Hampshire river fished by the famous loses its crystal-clear waters

Smoking food: Smouldering passion

Since taking up smoking, Christopher Hirst has found that not just salmon and mackerel but oysters, chicken and even eggs can be given a delicious new dimension

Sea trout return to cleaner rivers

The numbers of sea trout and salmon found in some English rivers have hit record highs this year, thanks to efforts to clean up polluted waterways.

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